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A L C A E U S 






II UHtTU Stati* ahp Guat Butmh, 




BORN iStH march 1870 




In this work I have attempted what has not 
yet been done for Alcaeus, and what Mr. Whar- 
ton so ably did for Sappho; that is, to give him 
in the entirety of his remains to English readers, 
whether they understand Greek or not, and at 
the same time to give to the student an accurate 
text in a convenient form. Though much has 
been written of him in connection with the 
other Greek lyrists by Ei^lish, German, and 
other scholars, the notes and occasional trans- 
lations are in Latin, German, or other tongue ; 
and practically the only form in which he is at 
all available to the English student is Professor 
Farnell's excellent work on the Greek Lyric 
Poets ; though Professor Herbert Weir Smyth, 
of Bryn Mawr, has in press a work on the Greek 
Lyrists. Even in Professor FarncU's work the 
remarks on Alcaeus are necessarily limited, and 
while the notes are in English, there are no 
translations ; and the work is intended for the 



Student alone, being of little value to the general 
reader. It is true that there have been pub- 
lished more or less extended criticisms of Al- 
caeus, and occasional translations of some of the 
fragments, in works upon the Greek Lyric Poets 
io general, but these have never been collected. 

I have given here a life of Alcaeus, the longer 
fragments with verse translations, the shorter 
fragments with prose translations, notes upon 
the fragments, and a biblic^raphy. 

In the Life, while narrating everything con- 
cerning him that could be gathered from ancient 
authors and deduced from his writings, I have 
confined myself to that only which is well au- 
thenticated, and have refrained from relating 
probabilities or possibilities as facts. I have 
necessarily included some remarks upon his 
times, upon his contemporaries, upon the Aeolic 
or Lesbian school of poetry, upon Horace and 
his debt to Alcaeus, and upon Catullus ; and 
also some critical notes upon his poetry. 

In the text I have closely followed Bergk, 
with a few exceptions mentioned in the notes, 
where I have followed Hartung, Farnell, or 
Hoffmann, and have included every fragment 
which can properly be ascribed to Alcaeus, 
omitting only single words and broken sen- 
tences incapable of restoration or translation. 



and of value only to the lexicographer. The 
numbers included in brackets (in the notes) are 
Bergk's, except where otherwise noted. I have 
followed the usual custom of grouping the frag- 
ments according to subject, giving, first, Drink- 
ing-songs ; second. Love-songs ; third. Polemics; 
fourth. Hymns; and fifth. Miscellaneous. 

In the metrical translations I have striven to 
adhere closely to the original, availing myself as 
little as possible of the liberties generally sup- 
posed to belong to the translator into verse, with 
the exception of the paraphrases, *' Autumn," 
"To Sappho," and "No More for Lycus," 
and even in these I have endeavoured to be 
historically and critically true to the poet. With 
the shorter fragments I have given literal prose 
translations. I must here confess that my ren- 
derings of some of these shorter fragments are 
not altogether satisfactory to myself, for many 
of them are practically incapable of translation. 

In each of the notes on the longer fragments 
I have given a literal prose translation, such 
meritorious verse translations by various authors 
as I have found, a reference to the place of 
preservation of the fragment, a description of 
the metre, references to other authors of an- 
tiquity, especially to Horace, and such remarks 
as may tend to the elucidation and understand- 

jitL..., Google 


ing of the fr^ment. The notes on the shorter 
fragments are briefer. I have not attempted 
any textual or metrical criticism, leaving that to 
more able scholars i and I would here invite the 
critical student to the great work of Bei^k, 
the ablest Greek scholar of the century, and to 
the works of Matthiac, Hartung, Farnell, Hoff- 
mann, and others mentioned in the bibliography. 
Professor Farnell's work will be found of especial 
value to the student, containing not only the 
text with valuable notes, but also a treatise upon 
the Aeolic dialect and upon metre in the lyric 
poets. The main diiGcuIties to be experienced 
by the student lie in the peculiarities of the 
Aeolic dialect and its admixture with other 
forms, and in the broken and disconnected con- 
dition of some of the fragments. 

In the bibliography will be found a complete 
list of the principal works upon or relating to AI- 
caeus, to which I have had reference or access. 

Some remarks here concerning the literature 
of Alcaeus may be of interest. He was held 
in such high esteem by the ancients that many 
commentaries were written on his poems. Athe- 
naeus and others relate that Dicaearchus and 
Chamaeleon, the disciples of Aristotle, wrote on 
Alcaeus i Hephaestion says that Aristophanes, 
the celebrated grammarian of Byzantium, who 



flourished about the middle of the third century 
B.C., and his more famous pupil, the Alexandrian 
critic Aristarchus, wrote elaborate commenta- 
ries on Alcaeus and divided his poems into ten 
books ; according to Strabo, Callias, the Mity- 
lenean, taught and wrote upon the works of 
Alcaeus about 25 B.C. ; Suidas says that Draco, 
the grammarian, who flourished under Hadrian, 
and HorapoUo, the grammarian of Constan- 
tinople and Alexandria, who flourished about 
400 A.D., wrote commentaries on Alcaeus. The 
first modem publication of any part of Alcaeus 
was in the Gnomelegiae live Arhtologiae I^ndaricae 
of Michael Neander, a Greek and Latin edition 
of fragments from the nine lyric poets, printed 
at Basle in 1556. This was followed by the 
editions of the lyric poets by Henrtcus Stcpha- 
nus, published in Paris in 1560 and subsequent 
years. Fulvius Ursinus published at Antwerp, 
in 1568, a fuller collection of the fragments of 
Alcaeus, with a commentary, in his Carmina 
Govern lUustrium Feminarum , , , et Lyricgrum. 
The first separate edition of Alcaeus was the 
Cammtntatio de Alcaeo, Poela Lyrica Ejusque Frag- 
mentis of Christian David Jani, published at 
Halle in 1780. This work is in Latin, and 
consists of a most excellent life and criticism 
of the poet, with the text of the principal fn^- 



mcnts preserved in Athenaeus, that is, part of 
our fragment iii and fragments viii, x, xix, xxvi, 
and xxxviii, with full notes. This edition was 
reprinted by T, F. Stange at Halle, in 1810, in 
his edition of Alcacus, which consists of reprints 
from various sources and a collection of other 
fragments and mentions of Alcaeus by ancient 
authors. The next (and, so far as I have been 
able to find, the latest) work treating of Alcaeus 
alone is the Mcae't MyliUnaei Reliquiae of August 
Matthiae, Leipzig, 1827. This is the most 
important work on Alcaeus except Berglc's, and 
contains a hundred and twenty-eight fragments 
(counting single words), with full notes in Latin, 
and an appreciative biography of the poet. Al- 
caeus, together with the other Greek lyrists, has 
been edited by many scholars of this century, 
preeminent among whom is the late Theodore 
Bergk, who, in treating Alcaeus, makes Mat- 
thiae's work the basis of his own. 

Of the other Greeks who bore the name 
Alcaeus it is necessary to mention only those 
the fn^mcnts of whose writings have sometimes 
improperly been ascribed to our poet. These 
arc Alcaeus, the Athenian tragic poet, who 
lived about 308 b.c.j Alcaeus, the comic poet, 
probably identical with the foregoing; Alcaeus, 
the epigrammatist, the contemporary of Philip 



of Macedon; and Alcaeus, the epigrammatist, 
who lived under the Emperor Titus. 

A probably authentic Lesbian coin has been 
preserved, bearing upon the obverse AAKAI02 
MTTIA. and a profile head of Alcaeus, and upon 
the reverse IIITTAK02 and a profile head of 
Pittacus. This coin is said to have belonged 
to Fulvius Ursinus. It passed through various 
hands and collections into the Royal Museum 
at Paris, and was engraved by the Cheva- 
lier Visconti.^ The frontispiece of this work, 
the medallion head of Alcaeus, reproduced tn 
photogravure, was drawn, after Visconti, by 
Mr. Howard Sill of Baltimore, who has also 
designed the cover. 

Reviewing my finished work, particularly the 
metrical renderings, I feel more deeply than 
ever how impossible it is to know the Greek 
poets truly and intimately outside the original, 
to express in any other tongue the fervour, the 
Incomparable beauty of language and rhythm, 
and the exquisite turns of thought intrinsic to 
the Greek songs, or to give more than their bald 
sense. Yet am I upheld in my work by the 
belief that to have these songs at second hand 

^ Iconognpbie Grecqne / par / Lc Chevalier E. Q. Vb- 
conti/Membre de I'liutitut de France./ Puis. /mdcccvul/ 
Fal. I, Plate Hi, No. 3. 



is better than not to have them at all, and by 
the hope that it may further the study of Alcaeus 
and of the other Greek lyrists, — a study which 
is too much neglected, even in our collies. 

WAtsDniTCN, 9tb May, 1900. 



Preface .... 

. "1i 

Life of Alcaeus . 

• 3 

Longer Fragments: 

Drinking Songs 

• 44 

Love Songs . 

• 56 

Polemic Songs 

. 61 


• 78 

Miscellaneous Songs 

■ 84 

Shorter Fragments . 

• 99 


• "7 


• 145 








Although twenty-five centuries have passed 
since he lived and sang, we have comparatively 
much authentic information concerning Alcaeus. 
Because he was not only a great poet but also 
a traveller, a soldier, a bitter partisan of the 
noble order, and a disturbing factor in the po- 
litical affairs of Mitylene, we have many details 
of his life which otherwise would never have 
been recorded ; and adding to this the frequent 
personal references occurring in the surviving 
fragments of his poems, we are able to form a 
tolerably accurate idea of his life and career. 
Bom in the latter part of the seventh century 
B.C., probably about the year 630, Alcaeus was 
contemporary with Pittacus, Dictator of Mity- 
lene and one of the Seven Wise Men of Greece, 
and with Sappho, but was younger than either 
of them. There is no record of his parentage^ 
but it is certain that he sprang from the old 
Lesbian nobility, and that Cicb and Antimeni- 
das were his brothers. 

The close of the seventh century B.C. was a 



time of wild political commotion and great in- 
tellectual activity throughout Greece, and espe- 
cially in the Island of Lesbos. Mitylene, the 
principal city of the island, having conquered 
her ancient enemy Methymna, was mistress of 
Lesbos, but was rent by internal dissensions 
and was at war with Athens, who had seized 
upon some of the Lesbian colonies in the Troad. 
Mitylene was rich and famous and powerful. 
She had built a strong navy and planted colo- 
nies on the Asiatic coast in order to secure and 
hold the trade of the Hellespont, and had ex- 
tended her commerce to the uttermost east and 
west. Succeeding to the simple, patriarchal life 
and customs depicted in the Homeric poems 
came a period of beauty, splendour, and luxury, 
tempered by the exquisite Greek rcfine- 
lem. The rich and splendid jewelry, armour, 
nd household trappings, and the loose and in- 
dulgent customs of the East, were all repro- 
duced in Lesbos ; not, indeed, in the gorgeous 
and barbaric and dissolute manner of the East, 
Ibut with that consummate art of expression and 
jrepression which was the distinguishing charac- 
jtcristic of the Greek nature in the day of its 
highest development. Meanwhile, to the early 
rule of the hero-princes had succeeded an he- 
reditary monarchy, to be in its turn overthrown 



\>j an oligarchy which gradually drifted into an 
aristocracy or rule of the nobles, certainly the 
most aesthetic, if not the most practical or logi- 
cal, form of government. But during the later 
years of the aristocracy, frequent feuds among 
the various noble families striving for suprem- 
acy in the state brought about internal wars 
and disturbances, which from time to time gave 
occasion for ambitious usurpers to seize upon 
the supreme power, only to be beaten and put 
to death by the reunited nobles. Finally the 
people, become more intelligent and powerful, 
grew tired of the misrule occasioned by the 
bickerings of the aristocrats, and there began 
in Mitylene, and throughout all Greece, the 
death-struggle between the democracy and the 

During these years of political change and 
revolution, Lesbos had become the acknow- 
ledged head and centre of the Asiatic Greeks, 
not only in material affairs, but also intellectu- 
ally. Set as a gem upon the bosom of the soft ! 
Aegean, with beautiful scenery, munificent har- 
bours, and exquisite climate, Lesbos was fair to 
behold and sweet to dwell within. Her inhabit- 
ants had about them all the delights of nature, 
and through extended commerce had become 
wealthy and were supplied with all the luxuries 



lof the world. All their surroundings tended 
\to develop to the utmost their intense poetic 
natures. They were connected by ancestry and 
tradition with the demigods and hero-princes 
of epic days, not yet too far removed to exert 
a living influence upon their imaginations ; they 
were in direct contact with the older countries 
of the mainland, and were fired by the stories 
of thdr mariners, and of travellers to the old 
eastern countries and to the new and strange 
lands of the west. Under such conditions the 
Lesbian or Aeolic school of poetry developed 
with a rapidity that is only equalled by its in- 
tenseness and perfection ; for within the centuiy 
wherein Archilochus laid its real foundations, it 
reached in the songs of Sappho and Alcaeus that 
1 high point of brilliancy to which it never after- 
wards approached. And its decay was as rapid 
as its rise ; for although it exerted a strong influ- 
ence over mclic poetry for more than a centuiy, 
and indeed influenced to some extent all lyric 
poetry throughout Greece, and though its effects 
are to be marked in the lyric poetry of Rome 
and of all countries to the present time, yet it 
did not survive so long as the less brilliant and 
more slowly developing Dorian school, and prac- 
tically ceased to exist after the deaths of Sappho 
and Alcaeus and their less gifted contemporaries. 



It is impossible to fix a beginning for this 
school, or for lyric poetry in general. Whether 
it preceded the epic or not, it was probably co- 
existent with and rapidly developed after the 
decay of the latter. The epic was succeeded 
by the el^y, in which the epic metre was 
slightly varied, to be in turn followed by iambic, 
and later by true mclic poetry. The Acolians 
were, poetically, the most highly gifted of all 
the early Greek peoples; for not only do we 
probably owe to them the epics, but of the nine 
great lyric poets, six were of Aeolic descent. 
As has been pointed out, Lesbos, on account 
of her wealth and position, became the natural 
I /centre of the older Greek countries of Asia 
Minor and of the colonies on the mainland 
and adjacent islands. It is possible that a sepa- 
rate Aeolic or Lesbian school had begun to exist 
as early as the eighth century ; for Terpander, 
the earliest melic poet, who introduced lyric 
poetry into Sparta about 700 B.C., was a native 
of Lesbos; and Archilochus, about 687 B.C., 
speaks of the Lesbian style: — 

Himself beginning a Paean in the Letbian mode.^ 

This school owes more to Archilochus for its 
artistic development than to any other poet, for 


THE SOi/aS or jtLCAEUa 

this mighty innovator of song invented or de- 
veloped the iambic, trochaic, choriarobtc, and 
perhaps the Alcaic measures. That he was the 
poetic master of Sappho and Alcaeus, and con- 
sequently of all the melic poets who followed 
them, is apparent, even aside from the testimony 
of Horace : — 

Sappho, when verse with manlj spirit gimis. 
Even great Alcaeus his ^ iambics chase. 
In different stanzas though he forms his lines. 
And to a theme more merciful inclines. 

— Francis. 

The predominance of this school appears not 
only from the fact that Terpander and Arion, 
the latter a contemporary of Sappho and Alcaeus, 
both of whom were Lesbians, and Alcman, a 
Lydian who flourished about 670 b.c., were the 
flrst to teach mcltc poetry to Greece proper, but 
also from the fact that nearly all the lyric poets, 
from Alcman to Pindar, used the metres in- 
vented and perfected by the Lesbians, and em- 
ployed, in a greater or less degree, the Aeolic 
dialect. Even Theocritus, in three of his idylls, 
uses Aeolic metre and dialect; and Anacreon, 
though the creator of a separate class of poetry, 
was strongly affected by the Lesbians. Sappho 

IThMn, Ardulochiu) Bfii. I, 19, iS Hj. 



boasts of the supremacy of the Lesbian school 
in her line : — 

Surpassing allj as the Ltshian singer stands 
Tffivering aheve the singers of other lands }^ 

The universal acknowledgment of the supe- 
riority of the Lesbian school is voiced in the 
Orpheus myth. In the I^end of the death of 
Orpheus it is related that after he was torn in 
pieces by the furious Thracian women bis head 
was thrown into the Hebrus, Alcaeus' *'most 
beautiful of rivers," and borne to the sea and to 
the shores of Lesbos, where it was enshrined. 
It is also told how his lyre was borne to Mity- 
lene and suspended in the temple of Apollo. 

This school was characterised by its use of 
the Aeolic dialect, the recurrence to epic forms, 
and the use and adaptation of the epic metre ; 
by the subjective quality of its songs, by their 
monodic form, and by the quality that is termed 
scholastic, or suitable for singing at banquets or 
on other convivial occasions. Possible excep- 
tions to the monodic form and approaches to 
choral poetry may exist in the epitbalamia of 
Sappho, and in the possible paeans of Alcaeus. 

Although preeminent in poetry, the Lesbians 
were not confined in their intellectual activities 

(Buck, No. 91.) 



to that art. They had become great in the art 
of war, both by land and by sea ; in political 
thought they were abreast the other Greek 
states, and their statesman and lawgiver, Pit- 
tacus, was ranked among the Seven Sages. 

So at the close of the seventh century we find 
the Lesbians rich without ostentation, luxurious 
without profligacy, voluptuous without cornip~ 
tion, unstable politically, yet striving to preserve 
a free rule, and acknowledged leaders of art and 
thought in Greece. Tiey had not yet entered 
upon that period of utter sensuality and political 
chaos, described by Anacharsis the Traveller, 
which preceded their final debasement and na- 
tional enslavement. Indeed, Lesbos was then in 
the high noon of her glorious development. 

In such times and in such a state Alcaeus 
grew to manhood. In 6i8 B.C., Melanchrus, 
who had usurped the supreme power in Mity- 
lene, and proclaimed himself Tyrant, was con- 
quered and put to death by the nobles, who 
were led by Pittacus, and by Cicis and Anti- 
menidas, the brothers of Alcaeus. It is prob- 
able that Alcaeus was too young to take part in 
this fight, and the only reference in his poems 
to Melanchrus is in fr, 1, where Melanchnis is 
praised, probably as compared with Pittacus or 
other later usurpers. A foreign war now served 



to reunite all factions in the city. Athens, 
grown jealous of the wealth, commerce, and 
naval supremacy of Lesbos, determined to drive 
the Mityleneans from the Asiatic coast, and 
seized upon Sigeum. Thereupon, about 6i2 
B.C., followed the war between the Mityleneans 
and the Athenians, involving not only Sigeum, 
but the whole of the Troad. In this war Pitta- 
cus led the Mityleneans and Alcaeus took 
a prominent part, achieving great renown as a 
brave and skilful warrior. In the battle of 
Sigeum, though Phrynon, the Athenian com- 
mander, was slain by Pittacus in a hand-to-hand 
encounter, the Mityleneans were defeated, and 
Alcaeus saved his life by flight, leaving his arms 
upon the field. Alcaeus sent a poem, fr. xxiii, 
to his friend Melanippus, relating his escape. 
The bravery of Alcaeus has been questioned by 
some modern writers on account of this flight, 
but unjustly. The rout was complete, and the 
whole Lesbian army fled ; the Spartan code was 
not taught either in Athens or Mitylene, and if ' 
there had been any disgrace attaching to such a 
flight, surely Alcaeus would not have sought to 
preserve it in a poem. On the other hand, this 
incident did not detract from the ancients' esti- 
mate of his courage, and that the Athenians con- 
sidered him a worthy foeman is proved by the 



fact that they held his shield to be a great 
trophy and hung it in the temple of Athena, as 
is related not only in the poem of Alcacus, but 
in the histories. In all his poems there is no 
trace of time-serving or cowardice, and in all 
the ancient writers no hint against his bravery 
throughout all the conflicts of his troublous life. 
Did we need any proof that flight from a hope- 
less field was not considered cowardice, we have 
only to read the words of Alcaeus' predecessor 
and poetic master, Archilochus : — 

The fatman ghrtes in my shield — 

I left it m the battle-field ; 

I threw it down beside the weed, 

Unseath'd by scars., unslain'd with blaad. 

jtnd let him glory ! Since ^ from death 

Eseap'd, I keep my forfeit breathy 

I sonn may find, at little cost. 

As good a shield as that I lost.^ 

— J. H. Merivale. 
And of Anacreon : — 

But bad Ified, and cowardly forsook 

My shield beside the clearly running brook? 

frrot ift^n^ap KiiXXcoi' eit MAur ' 
airis S iii^M-zar Barirav tAbi ■ iarlt latr^ 
ippiru • ^{avru Kriiaaiuu oO Kiufw. 
* 'Etu )' ir ivHit ^iyar mm icfaituj 
itrlia ^frai rBrafuG iCBXXipAotr Tap Sx^^ 


And of Horace, Alcaeus' Roman imitator : — 
mth thee I saw PbilippCs plain. 
Its fatal rout, a fearful scene f 
And dropp'd, alas ! th' inglorious shield, 
ff^ere valour's self was fert^ d to yitld.^ 

— Francis. 
In the duel with Phrynon it is related that 
Pittacus vanquished his ants^onist by entangling 
him in a net and killing him with a trident, a 
form of combat called retiarii, afterward forced 
upon the gladiators in the Roman amphitheatres. 
That the Lesbians considered the defeat at 
Sigcum an honourable one is proved by the fact 
that they received the home-coming army with 
great honours, and richly rewarded Pittacus. The 
war with Athens was terminated by the arbitra- 
tion of Pcriandcr, Tyrant of Corinth, who left 
each sutc in control of its original territory. 

Then followed another period of internal dis- 
sensions and bloody wars. Myrsilus, Megalagy- 
rus, the Clean actids, and others placed themselves 
at the head of the people, each claiming to be 
endeavouring to establish a democracy, but really 
intending to enthrone himself as tyrant. Against 
these demagogues Alcaeus, with intense patriot- 
ism and unquestioned bravery, led the nobles, 

1 Cm. II, 7, g. 



and, for many years, was victorious. Myrsilus 
was defeated and lulled, and Alcaeus, ln_/r. xxvi 
heartily rejoices. But eventually the democ- 
racy was triumphant, and Alcaeus, Amimenidas, 
and the other nobles were driven into exile. 
There is no further mention of Cicis, who, per- 
haps, was killed during the Athenian war, or in 
one of the internal disturbances. In the wars 
between the nobles and the democratic faction, 
Alcaeus not only took an active part as a soldier, 
but aroused his fellows by war poems assailing 
the demagogues, and filled with all the bitter in- 
vective that his intense nature was capable of 
putting forth. To this period must be ascribed 
most of the Stasiotica, or Polemic Odes, more 
especially The Ship of State^ frs. xx and xxi, the 
original of all the allegories wherein the state 
is likened to a ship, and directed, according to 
Heracl ides, against Myrsilus; the description of 
the armoury,yr. xix, and other polemic pieces. 
The poem on the armoury has frequently been 
cited by modern critics to prove that Alcaeus 
was nothing mortf than a military fop, fond of 
the trappings of war, but not in love with its 
dangers. In his lectures upon Greece, delivered 
before the Lowell Institute, the late President 
Felton, of Harvard University, speaking of Al- 
caeus and of this poem, says : " Tht Ungttt pUce 



remaining of this poet is his brilliant description of 
ihi martial furniture with which be had embellished 
his awn habitation ; and this piece of military fop- 
pery is a proof that it was the show and gauds of 
war^ and not its hard blows, to which he was 
addicted." The ending of this poem proves, 
however, that it was written by Alcaeus to In- 
cite his followers to be about their warlike work. 
Moreover, the unanimous testimony of all an- 
cient writers that Alcacus was a courageous 
soldier is sufficient to overthrow these modern 
deductions. Professor George S. Farnell, in 
his note on this poem, calls Wellington to wit- 
ness the well-known fact that the greatest mili- 
tary dandies frequently make the best soldiers ; 
and we have at home illustrious examples in our 
own Washington and Lee. 

During their exile, Alcaeus and Antimenidas 
travelled widely. According to Strabo, Alcaeus 
visited Egypt, and, in one of his poems, described 
the mouths of the Nile. It is probable that he 
wandered into Thrace. In fr. xcix be praises 
the Hcbrus as the most beautiful of rivers, and 
Bergk argues that he must have travelled in 
Thrace in order to experience the winter de- 
scribed in fr. viii. Antimenidas went even as 
far as Babylon, where he served in the army 
of Nebuchadnezzar, and achieved a great repu- 



tation as a doughty warrior. He probably took 
part in the conquest of Judea and the destruc- 
tion of Jerusalem in 587 B.C. In fr, xriii 
Alcacus welcomes him home and relates one of 
his deeds of prowess for which the Babylonians 
rewarded him with a sword whose hilt was of 
ivory inl^d with gold. To this period of exile 
and travel are to be ascribed the songs of travel 
of which we have numerous small fragments, 
and many of the Drinking-songs. During their 
exile, the nobles never lost sight of thctr design 
to reestablish the aristocracy in Mitylene, and 
were continually planning and plotting against 
the home government. It is possible that the 
real reason of Antimenidas' connection with 
the Babylonians was to enlist their aid for the 
nobles. As the noble party grew stronger and 
b^an to threaten an invasion of Lesbos, the 
people grew fearful, and, in 589 B.C., chose 
Pittacus as Aisymnites or absolute ruler for ten 
years, to strengthen the city and lead them in 
repelling the aristocratic party. Upon this, 
Alcaeus attacked Pittacus in the bitterest and 
most scurrilous verses, lafr. xxiv he calls him 
feoKOtrdTpiSa = base-born, because he was not 
of noble birth ; and in other fragments he calls 
him "Drag-foot," "Split-foot," "Thick-belly," 
"Dirty Fellow," and other contemptuous names. 



Pictacus was at this time about sixty years 
of age. He was a native of Mitylcne, his father 
being Tyrrhadius or Hyrrhadius, a Thracian, 
and his mother a Lesbian. Besides being a 
warrior of renown and a political leader of great 
sagacity, he was a man of letters, and was reck- 
oned one of the Seven Sages. Some of the many 
sententious sayings attributed to him in ancient 
times have survived, among them : " Know 
the proper time" and " It is difficult te be vir- 
tuous" We have, too, a short poem by him 
which has been thus rendered by Mr. Charles 
Merivale : — 

March with bow and weU-ttoeli' d quiver 
ArnCd against the wicked wight ; 
For his tmgue is faithless ever, 
ffordi and thoughts just opposite?- 

It is said that he composed many elegiac 
verses. Pittacus has generally been pictured as 
a wise, moderate ruler, ambitious only to further 
the good of Mitylcne and its people ; but, while 
his ability cannot be questioned, we have a 
glimpse of the other side of the picture in the 

1 'ExoTS let rifov t* ml USiniiw ^aptrpar 
mix*" ■■"■' *^» jHucii-. 
THFrir yAf oXtr yXMrra ill VTifiarot 
X>X«t iixifuA" (xovi naptlf riiwa. 



refrain of the popular Mill Song of Mitylenc, 
which has been preserved : — 

Grinds mtU^ grind ! 
For Pittacus himself h grinding^ 
Ruling mighty Mitylene^ 

It is related that Pitucus restored rule and 
order to the city, which enjoyed several years 
of peace. But the nobles, gathering all their 
strength, made a last, desperate effort to regain 
power. About 585 B.C. Alcaeus, at the head 
of the exiles, invaded the island, but was defeated 
\ and taken prisoner. Pittacus released him, say- 
ling that forgiveness was better than revenge. 
He has been praised and highly applauded for 
his apparent great generosity to Alcaeus, who 
was not only an enemy of the State, but also 
his bitter personal foe. But it is more pleasant 
to forgive than to be forgiven, easier to play the 
part of the magnanimous victor than to accept 
from his hands the bitter fruits of defeat. It Is 
possible, too, that it was rather shrewdness than 
generosity which prompted Pittacus -, for, by 
sacrificing Alcaeus to his personal hatred, he 
would only further have inflamed the partisans 

* 'AX« iii\a AXn ' 
Mil y6f Ilirrfudf XKn, 



of the aristocratic faction, TTiat Alcaeus 
accepted his fate with equanimity and settled 
down into the life of a peaceable citizen would 
seem to put him in quite as good a light as 

Alcaeus was now fast approaching middle 
life; and though we have no further historical 
mention of him, it is probable from fr, xxxvii 
that he lived to enjoy a ripe old age. 

Pittacus ruled the city well until 579, when 
he declined a reelection, but lived ten years 
longer, dying at an advanced age in 569 B.C. 

The only relative named or addressed by 
Alcaeus in the fr^menu we have is his brother 
Antimenidas. There is no mention of father 
or mother, wife or child, and it is probable that 
be was not married. He addresses or names 
some of his friends, and the beautiful youths 
Mcnon and Dinnomenes; and, in the scanty 
remains of his Love-songs, we can find mention 
of only Sappho. There is little doubt that he 
was in love with Sappho, and was one of her 
— perhaps many — rejected suitors. Aristotle, 
quoting line 2 of ^9*. xii, says that it was addressed 
by Alcaeus to Sappho ; and the first line of the 
same fragment rests upon the authority of 
Hephaestion. Hcrmesianax in a Catalc^ue of 
Things Relating to Love, quoted by Athenaeus, 



XV, 598 B, says that Alcacus often sang of his 
love for Sappho : — 

And well thou knmvest how famtd AUaeus srnole 
Of his high harp the hue-eniivtntd strings. 

And raised to Sappho's praise the enamoured note^ 
'Midst noise of mirth and jocund revellings : 

Aye, he did lave that nightingale of sang 
With alia kver" s fervours.^ — J. Bailey. 

But Hcrmesianax is not So Sure an authority^ 
for in the same poem he commits the anach- 
ronism of making Anacreon one of Sappho's 
lovers. Stephanus of Byzantium, and among 
later critics Professor F. Blass of Kiel, have 
argued that Aristotle was mistaken qr was 
merely following a common but erroneous tra- 
dition in attributing this fragment to Alcaeus, 
and that it belongs, together with Sappho's 
answer, to a dialogue composed entirely by 
Sappho. But in addition to the inherent im- 
probability of Aristotle's mistake in a matter 
of authorship, which he states so clearly and 
positively, is the &ct that two of his disciples, 
Chamaeleon and Dicaearchus, wrote treatises 
on Alcaeus and Sappho, and Aristotle had 

Zar^vt ^p/tli^tr liufiitrra riScr, K.r.X. 



therefore an unusual occasion to be thoroughly 
familiar and accurately acquainted with both 
poets. The circumstance that the lines attrib- 
uted to Alcacus are in a modilied Sapphic metre 
(that is, Sapphic with the addition of anacrusis, 
a form never used by Sappho, but frequently by 
Alcaeus), and the lines attributed to Sappho are 
in Alcaics, seems to be enough to destroy the 
theory that all belonged to a dialt^ue composed 
by Sappho, The great trouble with some of 
the critics is that they become Sappho-mad 
(a sweet and easy malady ! for who can study 
the beguiling mistress of song without becoming 
a worshipper ?), and seek all possible excuses to 
add to her too scanty remains every fragment 
worthy of her muse. Among the later Greek 
critics and during the early centuries of this 
era, while the poems of Sappho and Alcaeus 
were extant, the story of Alcaeus' love for the 
poetess was accepted without question and was 
a &vourite subject in art. An ancient terra- 
cotta plaque of unknown manufacture, in the 
British Museum, represents Sappho with her 
lyre, seated, while Alcaeus stands leaning toward 
her, grasping her lyre with his right hand, the 
two conversing or singing; and at Munich there 
is a vase of the fifth century, upon which Al- 
caeus and Sappho are pictured standing, with 



lyres in hand, singing. Added to the historical 
testimony is the very strong probability of the 
stoiy. Alcaeus and Sappho belonged to a class 
within a class in a small insular city ; they 
were both poets, both aristocrats, both natives 
of Mitylene. They were therefore necessarily 
brought into close conuct with each other, 
and it would be strange indeed had not the 
strong, impulsive, manly, warrior-poet become 
enamoured of the poetess, no less strong, but 
truly feminine, no less impulsive but more deli- 
cate, a woman before whose genius he, master- 
poet though he was, must have bowed down in 
self-forgetful hom^c. It is further probable 
that Alcaeus and Sappho were associated not 
only at home but in exile, for it is pretty 
well authenticated that for some reason Sappho 
fled from Mitylene to Sicily about the end of 
the seventh century. As she belonged to the 
nobility, or the aristocratic party, it is possible 
that she was forced to flee with the other nobles 
after their defeat, which happened about this 
time, and that she returned to Lesbos after 
peace was established; while Alcaeus roamed 
from country to country, until, at the head of 
the nobles, he invaded his native city and suf- 
fered his final defeat. It is cenain that Alcaeus 
was younger than Sappho, and perhaps in this 



&ct is to be found the secret of his failure to 
win her love ; for it is possible, and even prob- 
able, that the following fragment of one of her 
poems is another repulse to the pleadings of 
Alcacus : — 

If thou wouldst still be dear ta m«, 
IVith younger maidens seek thy jay ; 

Fcr I am loath ta mate with thee. 
An older woman with a bay ! ^ 

Both the public and private character of 
Alcaeus have suffered much at the hands of 
some modem critics. He has been painted as 
a political trickster and malcontent and as a 
vain militaiy fop, and in his private life as 
a drunkard and libertine. Colonel Mure has 
placed him, together with Sappho, beyond the 
pale of human respectability; and Dr. Fclton, 
in the lectures above referred to, after quoting 
Merivale's translations of some of the Drinking- 
songs, says : " fVe cannot wonder at any madness 
or folly in the life of a man so devoted to the god of 
wine." And later ; " ff^e cannot respect his per- 
sonal character^ which was stained by boastfulnessy 

> 'AXX' tur ^(Xot iMur (IXXo) 
X^ot lifrvea rti&Ttpop ' 

iiiip y' Iroa ytfiOiTipa. (Bibce, No. 75.) 



excess^ and perhaps profligacy. He was an umcru~ 
pulotts and bitter hater of men who had in awf way 
offended him, and he slandered them withtut stint or 

But, after all, what would it matter were all 
these charges true f what effect has an author's 
private life upon the literary worth of his writ- 
ings } We may as well prepare to purge our 
libraries of considerably more than half of the 
best literature of the world, if we are to judge it 
by the private lives of its producers as painted 
by the zealous and jealous defenders of the 
punty of literature who live after them. Yet, 
while it does not affect the merit of his writings, 
it is a satisfaction to know that an author whom 
one admires is not altogether bad. The public 
life of Alcaeus, and the charges that he was 
a military fop and a coward, have already been 
considered. It is inconceivable that a man 
should for many years maintain the leadership 
of a lat^e and powerful political party, a party 
which for many generations had been in control 
of the state, and be aught but a brave, generous, 
and able leader. The charges that Alcaeus was 
a drunkard are founded upon his avowed fond- 
ness for wine and upon the large proportion 
that the Drinking-songs bear to the whole of 
his remains. That he was fond of wine is not 



to be denied, but he preached its use, not its 
abuse, as is clearly shown in^, xi. The Greeks 
were a temperate race, and drunkenness was not 
one of their vices. With their famous wines — 
and the Lesbian wines were particularly noted 
for their excellence — it was the custom to mix 
water, and it appears bom frs. t, x, and Ixiv that 
Alcaeus did not depart from this custom. How 
different from the drinking-songs of Alcaeus is 
the exclamation of Catullus : — 

Jl vts qua libit hinc abitty lymphae^ 
Fini perniciety et ad sevetvs 
Aiigrate : bic merut est Tbyenianus. 

XXVII, 5-7. 

Arguing from their writings we may more 
reasonably conclude that Horace was a drunk- 
ard than Alcaeus. Tlie large number of Drink- 
ing-songs among the fragments argues nothing. 
They are nearly all quoted by Athenaeus to 
prove that Alcaeus had composed them for all 
occasions, but there is nothing to show how 
great a portion of his ten books of poems were 
Drinking-songs. The charge that he was a 
libertine, addicted to many vices, is founded not 
so much upon anything to be found in his frag- 
ments, or in early historical statements, as upon 
the statement of Quintilian that Alcaeus at 



times debased his muse by writing unworthy 
things; and upon certain remarJcs of Cicero. 
The chaige is so intangible as to be impossible 
of refutation. Greek morals of the sixth cen- 
tury B.C. were, in one very essential feature, the 
direct antithesis of Christian ideals ; and with the 
remark that in his private life Alcaeus was prob- 
ably neither better nor worse than the average 
Lesbian of birth, education, and position in that 
day, the whole subject may very profitably be 

The extent of the writings of Alcaeus was 
considerable, for Hcphaestion says that Aristoph- 
anes and Aristarchus, the famous Alexandrian 
grammarians and critics, wrote commentaries on 
his poems and divided them into ten books ; and 
this is corroborated by Athcnaeus, who quotes 
fr. vii from the Tenth Book. Hephaestion 
does not say in what manner ihts division was 
made, whether chronolc^ically, by metre, or by 
subject. Of the ten books we have now remain- 
ing only a handful of fragments, scarcely two 
hundred lines in all, and even these would be 
lost to us but for the quotations by Aihenaeus, 
Apollonius, Hephaestion, Strabo, Heraclides, and 
othei^. In what manner his works have so 
completely perished it is impossible to con- 
jecture. Cardan says that the works of the 



lyric poets were burned by Gregory Nazianzen 
about 380 A.D., but even if this story be true, all 
the copies of Alcaeus then existing were not 
destroyed ; for a quarter of a century later Hora- 
pollo, the grammarian of Alexandria and Con- 
stantinople, wrote a commentary on Alcaeus. 
According to Scaliger the poets were burnt at 
Rome and Constantinople under Gregory VII 
about 1073. This story has little or no corrobo- 
ration, and even if true, it is incredible that all 
the manuscripts of the poets were collected and 
destroyed. It is the ardent hope of the entire 
literary world that the works of Alcaeus and of 
the other lyric poets may yet be recovered ; and 
that this hope is not a foolish one and may yet 
be realised is proved by the recent discoveries of 
Herondas and Bacchylides, and the more recent 
and very extensive discoveries of ancient manu- 
scripts in Egypt by Mr, Bernard P. GrenfeU and 
Mr, Arthur S. Hunt, from which an ode of 
Sappho, a fragment of Alcman, and other classi- 
cal fragments have been sifted and published. 

But until the longed-for discovery is made we 
must be content with one complete poem of 
seven lines or twenty-one cola. The Jrmoury, 
fr. xix, and a hundred fr^ments of from one to 
nine lines. We are indebted to the Deipnoso- 
phists of Athenaeus, that great treasure house 



of classic gems, for The Armmry and for most 
of the Drinking-songs — one ode and thirteen 
figments in all, aggregating forty-four lines; 
to ApoUonius for seventeen fragments or twenty- 
two lines ; and to Hephacstion for fifteen frag- 
ments or twenty-one lines. Heraclides prcscrveB 
the two figments (xx and xxi) Tht Ship of State; 
Aristotle and Hcphaestion preserve the address 
to Sappho ; and the remaining fragments are 
found in the etymologies and in the writings of 
Strabo, Plutarch, and a score of grammarians, 
rhetoricians, and scholiasts. These fr^ments 
embrace a wide variety of subjects, but have 
usually been divided into five classes : Drinking- 
songs, Love-songs, Polemic or Seditious Songs, 
Hymns, and Miscellaneous Songs. The Drink- 
ing-songs, the Polemics, and many of the Mis- 
cellaneous Songs may be classed as Scolia, or 
short, monodic pieces, to be sung at banquets 
or convivial meetings. In addition to the Hymns 
it is probable that Alcaeus composed more elab- 
orate paeans ; but all his poems of which we 
have any trace are purely melic, or lyrics in the 
true sense, that is, monodic songs, subjective, or 
expressive of the poet's personal feelings result- 
ing from his own experiences, and composed for 

In ancient times, and while his songs were 



Still extant, Alcaeus enjoyed the highest reputa- 
tion. He was placed among the nine great lyric 
poets and by some critics was given preeminence 
over them all. Athenaeus says that he was the 
greatest musician that ever lived. His works 
were studied and taught, and elaborate commen- 
taries were written on them by Aristophanes 
and Aristarchus, the most celebrated of the 
Alexandrians ; by Chamaeleon and Dicacarchus, 
the disciples of Aristotle; by Callias the Mity- 
lenean ; and by Horapotlo. He was frequently 
quoted by the historians and rhetoricians. The 
historian Dionysius of Halicarnassus says of him : 
" Observe in Alcaeus the sublimity^ brevity., and 
sweetness coupled with stern power, his splendid 
figures, and his clearness which was unimpaired by 
the dialect; and above all mart his manner of 
expressing his sentiments on public affairs'* ^ 

He was the acknowledged poetic master of 
Horace, who pays tribute to him in the Thir- 
teenth Ode of the Second Book : — 

Where Sappho's sweet complaints reprove 
The rivals of her fame and leve^ 

' 'AXuiov Si antra ri iaya\ii^iilt jtal Ppaxi Kttl i/ti ittrii 
Stirirtfm, fri ti xal rDi>i irx^/u'Tfa'/uiv /itri aaipiirtlat, ttow 
sArQi nil rp IiaUcry ri ncdjcurai, lal rpi iwirruif ri rSr 
ToKtruOf TpaYfutrwr ^tou ^^_— 

I UHl'i- ■"' '" ■■ ' 



Akatut balder nuttps the stringi. 
And seaif and war, and exile sings ! 

Thus while they strike the various lyre. 
The ghasts the sacred sounds admire ; 
But when Alcaeus tunes the strain 
To deeds of war, and tyrants slain^ 
In thicker crowds the shadowy throng 
Drink deeper dawn the martial song. 

— Frahcis. 

And again in the Nineteenth Epistle of the 
First Book, where he boasts that he is the first 
to give Alcaeus to Rome : — 

I first attempted in the lyric tone 
His numbers, to the Roman lyre unknown. 
And joy, that works of such unheard-of taste 
By men of worth and genius were embraced, 
— Francis. 

Horace also makes this boast in the Exep 

Quintilian, in Book X, referring to the praise 
bestowed by Horace, says ; " Alcaeus is deserv- 
edly given a golden harp in that part of his works 
where he inveighs against tyrants and contributes 
to good morals j in his language he is concise, exalted, 
careful, and often like an orator; but he has 



descended into wantonness and amours, though better 
fitted for higher things." ^ 

In the variety of his subjects, in the exquisite 
rhythm of his metres, and in the faultless perfec- 
tion of his style, all of which appear even in the 
mutilated fragments, he excels all the poets, even 
his more intense, more delicate, and more truly 
inspired contemporary, Sappho. His powers of 
description arc of the highest order, and his pic- 
tures are real and vivid ; there is neither a word 
too much nor one wanting. Reading fr. iii one 
can almost feel the sultry breath of the summer 
fields wooing one to languor j and_^. viii makes 
one long for the cheery log fire and a cask of 
rich old Lesbian vintage. The Shipwreck is as 
realistic as it is impetuous ; and in fr. xix we 
have a finished picture of the poet's armoury in 
all its details. He was fond of allegoiy, but his 
figures of speech though perfect are few ; and 
the similes which he uses, especially in frs. xl 
and liii, are simple but striking. In his choice 
of adjectives and in the aptness of his epithets 
he is unexcelled. Elision occurs rarely in his 
verses, but he makes frequent use of alliteration 

1 In parte opcru aureo plcccro metLi 
tunr multum ctiam moribiu contctt \ in elc 
diligcm et plenimque onton 
deKBidit, nujoribus tamen aptior. 



and even of rhyme, for the regularly recurring 
assonance in many of the fragments is too 
marked to be merely accidental. 

In rhythmical powers, in mastery of metre, 
Alcaeus easily excels all the poets. He uses 
trochees and iambs, and their composite the cho- 
riamb, dactyls, spondees, and Ionics, and com- 
bines them in almost numberless variations, and 
with consummate musical skill. The most 
famous of his metres is the Alcaic, called after 
him because he is supposed to have invented it ; 
though it is probable that it was invented by 
Archilochus or Alcman and developed and per- 
fected by Alcaeus. The Alcaic stanza, la 
"system," consisting of four lines, or cola, is a 
most artistic combination of trochees and dactyls. 
Concerning this metre and Horace's adaptation 
of it Professor Farnell says : *' Js mesl classical 
readers owe their acquaintance with the jfUaie 
stanza tc the Odes of Horace^ it is important fur 
me to point out in vihat particulars the Roman poet 
dtviattdfrom his Greek model. The proper metri- 
cal scheme of the stanza in Alcaeus ts^ strictly speak- 
ings as follows : — 

^ : _ « _ w -y w _ V _ A 



This is varied by admitting an ^irrational' bng 
syllablt in certain placet^ so the scheme becanut in 
practice : — 

It will be noticed that whereas in the neutral 
places Alcaeus emfhrfs a kng or short syllable more 
or less indifferently-, Horace with rare exceptions 
implofs a long syllable only; so that his regular 
scheme becomes 

In the anacrusis of the first three lines, Horace 
does indeed not infrequently employ a short syllable., 
there being some twenty instances in the Odes; but 
in the case of the fifth, syllable-, we find one single 
example alone of a short quantity., viz., Od. tJi., 

S-^7- — 

' Si non periret immiserahiUs* 

It is not Ukely that these changes in the Alcaic 
stanza were made by Horace unconsciously. His 
Odes were written, not for melotfy, as those of Alcaeus, 
but for recitation ; and the slower movement effected 
by the extensive use of the ' irrational ' long syllables 



imparted a gravity and dignity to the rhythm admi- 
rably adapted in m»st cases to the nature af the suh- 

*' There is another novel and important feature 
in Horaces jfUaics ; namely^ the employment in 
B. l-l of diaeresis after the Jfth syllable or the 
second trochecy thus: — 

Caelo tonantem || credidimus Javtm. 

*' In Alcaeus cases of such diaeresis are entirely 
accidental^ hut Horace aihtits of only four exceptions 
to the practice : — 

(i) Od. i. i6. 21. Hostile aratrum exercitus 

(2) Od. i. 37. 5. Antehac nefas depromert 

(3) Od. i. 37. 14. Mentemque lymphatam 

(4) Od. iv, 14. 17. Spectandus in certamine 

*' Of elision between the fifth and sixth syllables^ 
J find no more than eighteen instances throughout 
the Odes of Horace, 

** Having slackened the natural movement of the 
rhythm by avoiding short quantities whenever it was 
possible to do so, he evidently found the line too long 
for a single colon. Indeed, when we read the four 
examples above, where there is no diaeresis, we feel 



that^ in dechmatiotL, if nat In miU^-, tht paute 
after the second trochee fallt test on a final syllabU." 

Alcaeus also uses the Sapphic stanza, some- 
times itdding <' anacrusis " (i.e. a short foot, usually 
of one, sometimes of two, syllables, preceding 
the first real foot of the measure) to give more 
strength to the lines. It is impossible really to 
reproduce in English the Greek metres, but 
attempts at the reproduction of the Alcaic and 
Sapphic measures will be found in the verse 
translations of/rs. xxvii and xxviii. 

Another striking example of metre in Alcaeus 
is found in frs. xi, xix, and xxx. This is a 
veiy artistic and musical combination of trochees, 
dactyls, and iambs. Each line is a stanza or 
" system," consisting of three cola, the Brst two 
being Glyconic verses and the third an iambic 
dipody. He was very fond of choriambs, which 
we find in no less than seven of the longer frag- 
ments, the choriambic metre proper always 
being introduced by a " basis " consisting of a 
trochee, dactyl, iamb, or two short syllables; 
and he makes frequent use of Ic^aoedic meas- 
ures (that is, combinations of trochaic and dac- 
tylic metres, as in the Alcaics, Sapphics, and 
Glyconics) and of the choreic dactyl. 

Professor Farnell, in his criticism of Alcaeus, 
while praising the artistic excellence of his verse, 



complains that no true poetry can be found in 
his songs. He says : " His faultlta ttyle and 
the unflagging energy of his sentiments are worthy 
of the greatest admiration; hut there is something 
we look fir in great poetry which is wanting in 
Alcaeus. The foefs eye should ^ move from heaven 
t> earth, from earth to heaven^ but the gaze of 
Alcaeus remains fixed upon the earthy and he never 
transports us with him into an ideal region. His 
descriptive passages, for all their vivid realism, are 
not lit up by avf radiance of the imagination ; they 
have none of the glamour of Alcman's famous 
ESSoiKTd' ^ op4av Kopv^aC ri koI <f>dpay'yet 
K.T.X. or the rapture of the dithyramb in which 
J^ndar celebrates the approach of spring. Even 
the line that has in it the truest ring of high poetry — 
'HfXK avBefMivTiyi iirdlop ipj(p/iAmio — is hut 
the prelude to an invitation to the wine-cup. In 
fact, Alcaeus maies manifest to us that poetry was 
the ornament or plaything of his existence rather 
than its vital essence. Most of his poems may be 
ascribed to the class of Paroenta or Scolia, and this 
alone would lead us to expect that the writer would 
aim rather at appealing to the sympathies of his 
boon companions than to an exalted poetic standard. 
Nevertheless, his poetry is admirable of its kind, 
and in variety and rhythmical power surpasses that 
of his else more gifted contemporary, Sappho. It is 



enfy tuhen vie bak to find in Meatus a maiter-sfiiril 
among poets that we need be disappointed" 

While admitting that there is not to be found 
in Alcaeus the intense poetic spirit and the sub- 
limity of imagination which are so superabundant 
in Sappho, it is impossible to agree with Pro- 
fessor Farnell in denying to him the exalted 
sentiments of a truly great poet. In studying 
his fragments it is essential to consider the 
manner in which they have been preserved. 
Many of the fragments of Sappho and of the 
other lyrists have been quoted and preserved for 
the very reason of their poetic beauty and 
artistic excellence. Not so with Alcaeus. 
Athenaeus quotes the Drinlcing-songs to prove 
that Alcaeus composed one for every occasion, 
and Tht Armoury to illustrate his remark that 
music was an exhortation to courage. The 
other fragments are quoted by a lexicographer 
in discussing a word, by a grammarian to prove 
a construction, by a prosodian to illustrate a 
metre, or by historians, get^raphers, and phi- 
losophers in proof or aigument. Nevertheless, 
among these fragments, quoted haphazard as 
they are, may be found phrases which prove 
that the poet's mind soared far above the ban- 
quet table, and far beyond petty political in- 
trigues. The most conspicuous of these is 



fr. xxii, Fighting men are the City' s fortrtts. This 
is all that is left of what must have been a trul^ 
great poem, a poem in which Alcaeus tells his 
countrymen that not in lifeless stones and 
timbers are to be found the greatness and 
strength of a commonwealth, but in its brave and 
noble citizens. We may form some notion of 
what this song was from Sir William Jones' noble 
paraphrase. The State, which commences : — 
What constitutes a State? 

Not high-railed battlement^ or laboured mauiuiy 
Thick wail or mealed gate ; 

Not cities fair^ with spires and turrets crowned, 
Na ; men, high-minded men. 

And we may form an idea of what an impres- 
sion it made upon the ancient mind, and how 
well known and popular it was, from the remark 
of Aristidcs : " It seems to me that only Themlstocles 
of all men has truthfully, or at any rate carefully, 
shown briefly what are the words which the poet 
Alcaeus san£- long ago,/br many receiving them, one 
from another, they afterwards came to be: Nor 
stones nor timiers nor the art of building forms 
cities, but whenever and wherever there may be 
found men ready to defend themselves there is the 
city and the fortress." ' 

1 For text, Kc/r. xra ind note. 



Frs. xxxii, xlvii, Ix, and Ixxxiii are doubtless 
from songs of exalted sentiment, and fr. Ivi is 
clearly the original of Horace's : Duke et decorum 
est pro patria tiwi.^ 

Alcaeus has the appreciation of and love for 
nature, especially the little things of nature, 
which arc common to all great poets. This is 
especially apparent in his enthusiastic greeting 
to spring, his descriptions of summer and winter, 
and the storm at sea, in his mention of the wild 
duck,yr. xxxiii, of the sea cocicle,yr. xxxJv, and 
of the stag,y>-. xc, and in his praise of the river 
Hcbrus, fr. xcix. 

While Archilochus was Alcaeus' great mas- 
ter, he also learned from Hesiod, for Summer, frs, 
iii and iv, and Speech for Speech, fr. xxxv, are 
close imitations of passages in the M^erks and 
Days. It is probable that his love of epic forms 
is due to the influence of Homer. 

He himself was widely imitated by Theognis, 
by the Greek tragedians, and by the other Greek 
poets ; but principally by Horace. 

The debt of Horace to Alcaeus must have 
been very great ; for even among the scanty frag- 
ments that we have of Alcaeus we find nearly a 
score that were imitated by Horace in sense and 



metre, sometimes almost word for word, and 
occasionally whole stanzas tt^ether. It is true 
that Horace studied and imitated the other 
Greek lyrists, but as he himself testifies, AI- 
caeus was his principal master. Nearly all his 
lyric metres are founded on Alcaeus, and it is 
probable that many of his poems are direct 
translations. We can admit this without con- 
sidering Horace in any sense a plagiarist; for 
not only does he boast of having translated him, 
but it is probable that among educated Romans 
of that day Alcaeus was as current as Horace 
himself. A comparison of the songs of Alcaeus 
with their imitations by Horace serves strongly 
to bring out and show clearly the true poetic 
genius of the former j for great as was his skill, 
Horace failed to transfer to bis imitations the 
iire and energy of his model even more sig- 
nally than did Catullus fall short of imparting 
to his translations of Tht Ode to Anactsria 
and the Epitbalamia the true spirit of Sappho. 
At first thought it seems strange that Catullus, 
although confessedly a student of the Greek 
lyrists, and a translator of Sappho and Callima- 
chus, was entirely unaffected by Alcaeus. In 
all his poems there is no trace, in thought, style, 
or metre, of the influence of Alcaeus. This 
may be due to the dissimilarity of Catullus from 



Alcaeus in his nature and poetical gifts, and his 
similarity to him in outward life and career. 
The poetical gifts of Catullus were cast in 
the same mould as Sappho's. He was more 
intense, more passionate, more spontaneous, less 
easily bound down by the strict canons of the 
poetic art, than Alcaeus and Horace, Indeed, 
in true poetical genius he was as much superior 
to the Lesbian as he was to his own great and 
famous compatriot, and as Sappho must be 
ranked as the most highly gifted of the Greek 
lyrists, so must' Catullus be considered the great- 
est of the Roman. But in his life Catullus was 
more truly the Roman successor of Alcaeus than 
was Horace. In his travels and probable mili- 
tary career, in his political position, in his hatred 
and abuse of Caesar and Mamurra, in his unfor- 
tunate love, in his fondness for wine and con- 
vivial company, in bis love for home, indeed, in 
all his loves and hates, and in all the essential 
features of his life, Catullus was marvellously 
like his Lesbian predecessor. This dissimilarity 
in one direction and similarity in the other would 
each naturally tend to turn the Roman aside from 
the study and imitation of the Lesbian. 

In other far distant cltmes and times the great 
Lesbian poet, soldier, and exile has had his suc- 
cessors, and in the Portuguese Camoens and the 



English Byron he seems almost to have lived 

In concluding his remarks upon Alcaeus in 
the essay on the " Nine Lyric Poets," published 
in The GenlUman'i Magazine for April, 1877, 
Mr. John Moreton Walhouse calls attention to 
the similarity of the lives of Alcaeus and Byron : 
*' Tbit fiery Greek ran through all the vicitsitudet 
of Ufe^ and tinged them with his genius. Remem- 
bering hew in our own age another passionate spirit^ 
also netfy horn, a wildy impulsive poet, keen satirist^ 
Uver of viine and beauty, devoted to freedom, and 
dying far its cause under Grecian skies, wandered 
and sang amid the sunwy Cyclades, a Pythagorean 
philosopher might also declare that in Byron Alcaeus 
had, after millenniums, lived again and once mert 
visited his former abodes." 






HfMf &v0eft6evT<K hrdiop ipjfoiUvoto' 

iv Zi Klpvart tw /teXtf^Of 5tt» rd)(UTra 


'AXX' hv^te iih> frc/>l rat? B4pataaf 
vtp$^nt irKiicnm \nro$ituhai rts, 
xaS a ^cvfiTb) fivpov S&v kox tA 





I feel the coming of the flowery Spring, 

Wakening tree and vine ; 
A bowl capacious quickly bring 

And mix the honeyed wine. 

Weave for my throat a garland of fresh dill^ 
And crown my head with flowers, 

And o'er my breast sweet perfumes spill 
In aromatic showers. 



T^lTfe TTW/wms aXvvf^ to ^A^ dtor/MV ir«p(- 

axel ff ^« ■jrtrdKaiv fdSea rArtf, "Tmpuytov 

Ktuc^^i \tyvpav (vvkvov) ioiSav, (ffdpiK) 

^\6yiov Kari fav weirrdfievov Trdvra Karav- 

&v6& xal VK^Vfiw • vOv Si yvyaucK fuapo^- 

Xiimi ^ SvSpei, hrel kiU Ke^\av xal y6va 


Jlitmfitv, t6 f&p atnpov TreptrfKKerat. 




Come all and wet your throats with wine. 

The (l<^-star reigns on high, 
The Summer parches tree and vine. 

And everything is dry. 
Full cheerily the locust sings 

Within the leafy shade. 
Rasping away beneath his wings 

A shrill-toned serenade. 
Come all, and drink, the star is up! 
Come all and drain the sparkling cup. 

The artichokes are all ablow 

And all the fields ablaze. 
Where Phoebus draws his dazzling bow 

And hurls his spreading rays. 
The women burn with fierce desire. 

The men are dead with heat, 
For Sirius sends a baleful fire 

And parches head and feet. 
Come all, and drink, the star is up ! 
Come all and drain the sparkling cup. 





Ghw y^p av0pimovi SioirrfMv. 


Adrayev ■tror^ovrtu 





Behold ! the tender Autumn flower 

Is purpling on the hill, 
The roses wither on the bower, 

And vanished is the dill. 
The morning air is keen and bright. 
The afternoon is full of light, 
And Hesper ushers in the night 

With breezes damp and chill. 

The purple harvest of the vine 

Is bleeding in the press. 
And Bacchus comes to taste the wine 

And all our labours bless. 
Then bring a golden bowl immense, 
And mix enough to drown your sense, 
And care not if you soon commence 

Your secrets to confess. 

For wine a mirror is, to show 

The image that is fair. 
The friend of lightsome mirth, the foe 

Of shadow-haunting care. 
So fill your Teian goblet up, 
And scatter jewels from the cup, 
And drink until the last hiccough 

Shall drown your latest woe. 


Tae soNOS or ALCjtsus 

'^(i fUp h Ze^, ix S* opdvat ftiyan 
ytCfUitp, -Treirdffainv S iSdrav pdai. 
(UdvTtK Si WW, ^adeta 0" Ska, 
^paXKhp ffopAf ^p^fioVTai.') 

irvp, €V Si KlpvoK oIpov a<p€iB^oK 
H^XiXpov, airritp hft^X xip^q 
/tdKOoKOP afu^t . . yv6^XK0P. 


Ou \pi] KOKOlvt dvpMv hriTp^TT^V 
irpoKi^liev fkp aihev atrdfitpai, 
& Bvx^i, {futpfiOKOV S" Spttrrov 
otvov ivtucapApoK px0wr&ijv. 

by Google 



Zeus hails. The streams are frozen. In the sky 
A mighty winter storm is r^ing high. 

And now the forest thick, the ocean hoar. 
Grow clamorous with the Thracian tempest's 

But drive away the storm, and make the fire 
Hotter, and pile the logs and faggots higher ; 
Pour out the tawny wine with lavish hand. 
And bind about thy head a fleecy band. 

It ill befits to yield the heart to pain. 

What profits grief, or what will sorrow gain I 
O Bacchus, bring us wine, delicious wine. 
And sweet intoxication, balm divine. 




Yllvmftev rC rk \v\if oftfUvoitiev ; SdiervXiK 
KoZ S" &eppt KV\C)(mtK /teydKam, dtra, vot- 

foipov ^/ttp %eiUK(K Kal AAk vXk \aBucd&ta 
hvBp^ouTiv i&auc. ijx^ xipvai'^ Iva Kal h6o 
irK^^oK KOK K^dXiK' a 2* aripa tIw ar^pav 

&6^TU . . . 




Let us drink, and pledge the night ! 
Wherefore wait the torches' light ? 

Twilight's hour is brief. 
Pass the ample goblet 'round, 
Gold-en wrought, whereon is wound 

Many a jewelled leaf. 
Sprung from Semele and Zeus 
Dionysus gave to us 

Care-dispelling wine. 
Pouring out the liquid treasure 
With one part of water measi^re 

Two parts from the vine. 
Mix it well, and let it flow. 
Cup on cup shall headlong go, 

While we drink and laugh, 

While we sing and quaff. 




^okChoi £* apurrot Ififi&'ai 
' S^ k' ovijai faSw irepi ^pivat 

olvo^, a5 Si/t a6\t09 
K&TTOi yip Kt^dXaP KarCajfef rov pov Baftii 

dvftov otTuifievtK 
irtBafiiev6/iev(k t' aad^ei- tok' oixdrt favSd- 
vti' v& Tcu^, wca. 

.y Google 



The happiest hours are in the cup. 
But O beware the waking up 

If you but drink too deep. 
For miserable is the wight — 
Ay ! doubly wretched is his plight — 

Who woos a drunkard's sleep. 

Imprimis comes a splitting head, 
Secundo comes, in pleasure's stead. 

Remorse his heart to rend. 
But if you 'd taste of joys divine. 
Nor yet offend the god of wine, / 

Drink wisely, O my friend ! / 



At S" ^« IffXiov t/iepov 4 tcdXxuv, 
Koi /i^ Ti feiinjv yX&atr Acvxa kwov, 
af&tf? k4 a' ov Klj(avev Sirirar', 
aW IXeye^ irepl tu Suca^. 





Pure, violet-crowned Lesbian maid, \ 

Sweet-smiling Sappho, I had paid 
An amorous suit to thee, but shame 
Permits me scarce to breathe thy name>'' 

Alcaeus, were thy heart and thought 
With pure and noble feeling fraught, 
And were thy tongue from evil free, 
Nor framing double speech for me. 
Shame had not driven away thy smile. 
But thou hadst spoken free from guile. 



"E/u ieCkav, lifte iraadu xaKOTdrav ireSi- 



A^^at fie Koifid!^ovTa, S^tu, XCv<TOf*ai ae, 


"Ex /(' IXturcK HKficav. 





Ah hapless me ! O miserable me I 

Wretched and all forlorn ! 
Driven from home, and on the raging sea 

Hither and thither borne ! 

My land a tyrant's sport, my comrades dead, 

My city torn apart. 
There is no peaceful pillow for my head. 

No haven for my heart. 

But in thine eyes I see my beacon light^ 

For love is throned there, 
And as Apollo triumphs over night 

So Eros conquers care. 

Then hear my song, O hear the love I sing, 

I pray thee, O I pray ! 
And thou wilt make me soon forget the sting 

Of sorrow passed away. 



"Aeurov dii/u r^f ISkoXitop, 





No more for Lyeus will I sigh, 

Or seek his fond caresses. 
Or sing his darkly flashing eye. 

His wealth of raven tresses. 

No joyous paean will I raise 

While near to him I linger ; 
Nor chant again his name, nor praise 

The mole upon his finger. 

But raise a song for her, O Muse ! 

The violet-crowned maiden. 
And praise her soft throw's changing hues, 

Her low voice, laughter-laden. 

Sing yet again her thousand charms, 
Her eye's entrancing splendour, 

Her swarthy cheeks and supple arms 
And bosom dark and tender. 

Yea, sing forevermore of her, 

My mistress soft-beguiling. 
Fairest of all who are, or were. 

My Sappho, sweetly-smiling. 





*HX5rt iK TTtpdrav fan tKe^vrCvav 

ffVfiftdxeti T^ffo?, pwroo t' ix Wiwi*,) 
KTiwain avSpa fiaxaCrav fiaaiKqtav 
■noKalirTav airoKetvovra /i^vov fiiap 
■B-aj(4av atrv ir^/iweav. 





From ends of earth thou comest home, 

Bearing a glittering blade, 
Whose hilt of precious ivory 

With gold is overlaid. 

For thou hast aided Babylon, 
. Achieved a glorious deed. 
And been a bulwark of defence 
In hour of sorest need. 

Yea, thou hast fought a goodly tight. 

Slaying a mighty man 
Who lacked of royal cubits five 

Only a single span. 




itapftalpti Si fi^^an SdfiiK ;^aXxf» ' irotra S^ 

'Apjj KticAr/i^rat irr4ya 
Xdtiirpauriv lewlaiat, KarTav XatKoi xarv- 

irepffev t-mriot \ti^ot 
veHourtv, Ke^dKeu^iv avSfmv aydXfuiTa ' X**^ 
Kuu hi •jTtUTiraKoK 
KpijrTauTiwtpuctiiteinuXdfiTrpai KvdfuZei, 

&pKW iirxypa ff^Xevi, 
B&paKh T£ v4oi \iva koCDulC t« Ka-^ aairi&fft 

Trap Bi XaXxCSucai tnrdffat, irap Si ^aftara 

wiXXa Kol KtnraTnSK ' 
T&v oiiie iim \d0etrff, hre^ wp^nar' iv^ 

f^pyov iaraiuv riSe. 




The spacious hall in brazen splendour gleams. 
And all the house in Ares' honour beams. 

The helmets glitter ; high upon the wall 
The nodding plumes of snowy horse's hair, 

Man's noblest ornaments, wave over all ; 
And brightly gleaming brazen greaves are there, 

Each hanging safe upon its hidden nail, 

A sure defence against the arrowy hail. 
And many coats of mail, and doublets stout, 

Breast-platesofnew-spun linen, hollow shields. 

Well-worn and brought from foe-abandoned 
And broad Chalcidian swords are stacked about. 

Bear welt in mind these tools of war, they 

Easy and sure the work we undertake. 




TO ftiv fiip Iv6A> KV/ta KvKivSerai, 
val ifiop^iteda aiiv fteKalva, 

trep fikv yiip ain-\m i<rrov^Bav S\ei, 
Xa(0of Si vitv ^tl&t}\ov ijBt] 

Xit^Muri £" dfKvpai. 


TO £i}&rc Kvixa ran wporipMi Xva 
<rTei')(ei, vap^^i S' aftfu vAvov iriKw 

avrXtjv, iirtC k% vaoi ift^a 


iitized by Google 



I know not how to meet the tempest's n^c ! 
Now here, now there the furious billows Form 
And compass us. We in the good black ship 
Between the opposing waves are hurled, and wage 
A desperate struggle with the darkling storm. 
The straining sails grow clamorous-, they 
And fly in r^s. The foaming waters burst 
Into the hold. The anchors loose their 
And now a billow, greater than the first. 
Rushes upon us, fraught with perils grave, 
While the ship plunges deep into the wave. 




'AvSpei iniKijtyi Trvpy<K apeCloi. 

(Ov X^oi ov8^ {vXa ovSi T^xyt} TticrAixov 
al w<fX«iS eUv, dXV &7rov trar' &v waai dvSpei 
airoiv va^eiv etSdrei, ivravda koX tc/^ jcal 




Not in hewn stones, nor in well-fashioned beamsi 
Not in the noblest of the builder's dreams, 
But in courageous men, of purpose great. 
There is the fortress, there the living State. 





''Emrea 8" ofi- xtSrof (aSoi') ivdieropov ^ 

*I/»>y hveKpiftavav 




Alcaeus hath escaped the hand 
Of Ares on the banle-field i 

He fled unto his native land. 

But left behind his sword and shield. 

The Attics held the spoils divine, 

And hung them in Athena's shrine. 




Ihv KoKoirdrpiZa 
JlCrraieov v^Kim to? St;^cfXa> koX 0afn/Sai- 

iardaavTQ TOpawav f*^' iiraivdovret mikXett. 




This upstart Pittacus, this base-bom fool. 
The]' greet with jo]', and acclamations great, 

And set the willing tyrant up to rule 
The strife-torn city, most unfortunate. 



avTp4^i rdxa rip trt{\iv A S" ^ctoi ^^m 




This man, this raving idiot here, 

With rank supreme and power great. 
Will quickly overthrow the state, 

Already is the crisis near. 




Kpovqv, hmBif KorBavt 'iAvpaikVi. 




Now for wine and joy divine, \ 

MyrsiTur is dead ! •^ " 

Now 't is meet the earth to beat 
With quick and happy tread. 
For Myrsilus is dead .' 
Myrsilus is dead ! 





'fliwo-c' ^KOavda voTUnetv tSpW 

& irov Kopav^i iviKpif/iviov 
VMV irdpotBev afi^i^aiutVi 
ViwpaXCm irordfue irap' 6\0atit. 

*H vov fdvaffff' apSp&v aii SeSaaft^imv 
trrpdrov iri>utTfi! itnwv^oia-a. 




(in ALCAIC metre) 

O Queen Athena, mighty in war's alarms, 
O keeping guard by river Coralio, 
And on the steeps of Coronca, 

Over the house of thy sacred worship ! 

O Queen perchance thou movest above the camp. 
The camp of our divided armies. 




ffvfioi SfiPijv, Tov Kopv^ii iv oKpait 
Mala fAniaro KpoviS^ /iiyeiaa. 




(in SAPPHIC metre) 

Cyllenean Ruler and Lord) a paean 
Raise I now. Beloved of the son of Cronos, 
Maia brought thee forth on the sacred moun- 

Loftiest summit. 




^tvArarov Biav, 




He sprang, of gods the mightiest god. 
From Zephyr, golden-tressed, 

And gentle Iris, neatly-shod. 

When Love these lovers blessed. 








In Sparta once Aristodemus, 

So the stoiy ran, 
A maxim full of wisdom uttered : 

** Money makes the man." 
For valour leaves the wretch that's poor. 
And honour shuns the pauper's door. 



'ApydXeov vaila xdicov aaxfrov, & fi^a 




A grievous weight, too heavy to endure, 

Bitter, and full of woe, 
Is Poverty, who, with her sister. Want, 

Cripples the people so. 




TA? iiri8v/tia<i y^p 
oiSre yvvi} v^vyyev 
olSre fdmip. 




'T is beautiful with pleasures gone 

To put away desires, 
For neither man nor maid can quench 

Their all-consuming fires. 




OpinBti rCvei oiB ; &Ktdvto 70? t' &ird 

fj/K&ov irap^Xoves •iroua\6Stipot TawaCtrrepot. 




What bird is this from ocean. 
From ends of earth remote. 

With wings wide-spread in motion. 
And many-coloured throat ? 




n^f>a9 xal voKUk BaXdirirm r&cvov . . . 

. . . ix 8i waiSaiv ^aiwot; ^piutK, h BoKoit- 




Child of the aged rocks, 

Child of the hoary sea, 

Thou fillest with joy 

The heart of the boy, 

O cockle from the sea. 



\tK' ^wfft, ri ffdXeK, (aSrw) ixovatm ice, 
TO. k' ov 0iKoK. 




If you must freely utter 
Whatever things you will. 

Be then prepared to listen 
To things that please you ill. 









TptffaXertp' oi> yiip 'ApxaSevo'i Xa0a 
(^dytfv 0a\dvot<t'). 

. . . Eater of water-nuts ; for it was not a 
reproach to the Arcadians to eat acorns. 


Kar Twi TrSK\a ira6ouTiK xeifxiXai KaKxefino 

On my head of many sorrows pour myrrh, 
and o'er my hoary breast. 


MtjSiv a\\o t^vre^ryt irportpov h^Zptov 
Plant no other tree before the vine. 




K.f\Ofta( Tiva tov ')(a.pCevTa M^wm KaXetrirat, 
al XP^ avfivoffCa^ eir' ivaaiv ifuti yty4v7)tr0ai, 

I pray that some one call in the charming 
Menon if it be fitting that he be a delight to me 
at the banquet. 


'AXXora (tip fteXidSeK, aXXora S* 
o^tfT^pa Tptfi^XMV apvnjftevot. 

Drawing wine now as sweet as honey, now 
more bitter than nettles. 


K/wi'/Sa ^aaCkifot y^vK Atav, tov Apiarov 

weS" 'Aj(C\Kta, 
(j^tfftv & Tpotav T&v ^vaav SkBeiiev. . . .) 

(It is said that) Ajax of kingly birth, sprung 
from Kronos, the greatest hero after Achilles 
(went to Troy in the army of the Danaians). 




Achilles, ruling in the land of Scytbia. 

'Bx Bi woTtipiwv intvrfi ^twofi^vg irapitrSav. 

You drink from cups, sitting by the side of 

^evpo tTVfviraOi. 

Drink and be glad, my friend. Come hither 
and drink with me. 



Olm?, <3 ^Ac irai, leal aXddea. 

Wine, dear child, and Truth ! 




'"Enrerov KvTrpoya^a^ vaXdfuutnv. 
I fell by the hands of the Cyprus-bom. 

KtfXir^ a' iS^avj' &ynu 'Kdptret, Kpivot. 

The tender Graces took thee up in their 
bosom, O Lily. 


The stormlcss breathings of the gentle vinds. 


. . . TalcK KaX vii^6tvTot &pdvut fUvtu. 

Between the canh and the doud-flecked 




Mclanchrus (in his actions) towards the City 
was worthy of respect, 


Brandishing the Carian crest. 

olov (iriBov) 70s 7A/) ireXerat a4aiv. 

Not yet has Poseidon lashed into fury the 
salty floods ; for then he comes upon the shore, 
shaking the earth. 


"Ewra^ov Sxr^ SpvtBa tSietip 
aXerov i^airiva^ ^vana. 

They cowered as birds when the swift hawk 
suddenly appears. 




'Apev Bat^ffiK Saticnip. 

Ares foe-scattering, b cart-cleaving. 


'Apevot oTpaTiaripoi.'i. 
More valiant than Ares. 


■ Ti rikp 

'Apevi KarQdvrjv koKov. 
For it is^Hoblc to die in battle, 


Mtfav S* ev aWdXoK 'Apcva. 

But they fought hand to hand in battle. 


'ft 'wif 'AttoXXoh, vat fteydXa A^. 
O King Apollo, son of mighty Zeus. 




. . . 'ClvTt d^v fitfS^' 'OXvfvirdav \wrai &rep 

So tfaat not one of the Olympian gods except 
him could loosen it. 


T^ 7^/> Bmv ItSrar' iftfu \aj(6vTav y^pai 

For that honour shall remain inviolate by the 
will of those gods who have been made thy 


Let thy daughter proceed in the work. 


Kal ttXcAttow idvaa-ve Xook. 
And he was ruling many peoples. 




First indeed Antandrus, city of the Ldcges. 


Tov ;^(£\(iw cfpxof S^. 
You will be 2 protection to the unmixed wine. 


Tidfmav ^ Mtftaa', Ik ^ IXero ^pAmt. 

He is altogether stupefied with vanity and 
bereft of reason. 


And a certain one dwelling in most distant parts. 


MlSySo fid)i£vpov. 
Mixed wheaten flour. 



Thus has the tradition from our ancestors arisen. 


'E/Mtt!ry vaXa/tdtToiitu. 
I will bring it about for myself. 


As he will save them from destruction. 


OiKio re irep va xal vep' arifiliK. 

Through you and through dishonour I exist. 

One of the twelve. 




And from nothing nothing comes. 

Al 84 k' afifU Zeim reSAiry mitjfia. 
Jut if Zeus grant the fulfilment of our desires. 


. . . NfJov S" ia&rm 
•jrdfifjrav &4ppei. 
He is thoroughly aroused in his mind. 


KairtirXcMrj; vd&nv. 
He will approach in ships. 


'A-ftfuv aSdvaTM 84oi 
The immortal gods grant the victory to us. 




I am sorely grieved ; for friends by no means — 

Nwp 3* (aflr') oStw iirucp^Tti 
Kii*^a(9 TOP &ir' Ipa^ vvfuiTOv \l6ov. 

He now has the mastery, moving upon the 
holy field the last stone. 

Nti/x^t;, rah A^? i^ htrfi6\ia ^auri rervrf- 

Nymphs, descended, 't is said, from Zeus, the 


At 7^^ KoKKoBtv i\6^ r^St, i^t le^vodev 

For if one come from a certain place, he 
declares that everything comes from there. 




. . , ^ii Zk <javT(^ TO/i(cK iffy. 
But you will be your own dispenser. 


Nor to bring sorrow upon our neighbours. 


Nor the mind being shut up from other things. 


'Eppa^iar'' ov y^p ava^ (^Seiv6Tepo^ aSev). 

Bacchus ; for there is no king (more powerful 
than you). 


'ApKaSet eaaav ffaXavij^ayoi. 
The Arcadians were chestnut-eaters. 




A huge stone is poised above the head of 
Tantalus, O Aisimides. 


TafifiePa Xdfvtrpa Kiavr iv MvptriX'^ip; 

Is it still pleasing, Dinnomenes ? sac those 
things meet and glorious in Pittacus as they 
were in Myrsilus ? 


Otripe; HaXoi 
&fjb/ieo>v TC Kot a/ifxeav. 
Whosoever of you and of us are valiant. 


'Ei\d^a> Si ^p6p,QV ep arffi&ii if>vei ipdfiepm. 

An affrighted roar bursts from the breast of 
the st^. 




'En-1 'ji.p irapot iviapov Xkptjtoi. 
For before he comes upon what is pleasing ^ 


Tld>j,v a Jk wapopivti. 
Agun the sow stirs a little. 


*h.nii4tnv ireSdopov. 
High in air above us. 


But you went to your husband telling — 


"£70 p.h> oil h4(a Tavra ftaprvpaivTcvi, 
I am indeed in no need of proof of these things. 




And shod with Scythian shoes* 


'Att irareptav fidBm, 
Learning from the elders. 


Har^pav a/ifiav. 

Of our fathers. 
Of our sorrows. 

'EjS^of KdWumK irorafi&v. 

Hcbnis most beautiful of rivers. 


TBB sorras of alcabus 

'Ek tow ^Ird^w ToJwoiTW. 
Sendii^ forth arrows out of the darkness. 



Unless you carefully remove from the rubble 
the stone which is to be worked, it will prob- 
ably fare ill with your head. 






I (4$]> I fid the coming »f the fiazetrj spring, 
Quitilj mix in the btwl the beneysaeel mint. 

{2>iickl]r, quickly mix Ibr tot up 
HooTjei WIDE in ■ bokei cup ; 
JJuicUy, quckif, tbu I naj ang 
The jojxMU comiDg cf Aowoy •|*ing. 


I btotbed the cmniiif of the flowery ipnng. 

FlIDUICE Tehhtkih. 

Quoted by Athemeus, X, 430. The metre i* 
chomc, congiatitig of an initial tioctiee or spondee, 
four dactyls, and a final trochee — very nearly a hex- 
ameter dactyl catalcctic or heroic : — 

In the metrical translation I have joined thii with 
the nezE lucceeding fi-agmcnt, though they are &om 
difierent sot^. 

II (36)> Bat let seme one piaee about mj throat 
netklaees of anise, maven garlands, and p»UT raeet ftr- 
fiimes ever my breast. 

Quoted by Athenaeus, linet i-z in XV, 674, and 
3-4 in XV, 687, and rightly joined by Hammg, 
Bergk, and othera. The metre is Sapphic : — 


Cf. Horace, Carm. II. 7 : — 

ObETiOB l»u Muuco 
Ciboria dfile, liiiiile upacibtu 
Ungueiua de conchit. Quia udo 
Depropenre »po coronu 
Cuntvc myito i 

ni (39). Moisten j9ur throats with wine, far the 
dog-star is risen, and this is the oppressive seasen toben 
tverjtbing thirsts under the burning heat. The dtada 
lings pUaiantlj, sending firth bis clear-tsned song from 
among the ibidt leaves. The artichoke bhams where 
the sun, beating down upon the Jields, lets fall spread- 
ing, blazing rays. And now are women most amor- 
tus, but the men languid, for Siriiu parches both bead 
and legs. 

Glad yoat hearti mch iwy wine, 

Now the dog-ttar taket hit rouod. 
SulBy houn to aleq) iodiiM, 

Gipa wch beat ihc BulDy ground. 
Cricket! «ag on lea^ bought. 

And the thutle ii in Dower, 
And men forget the nbec vowi 

They nude to the moon in lODie colder hour. 

~J. H. MiaivAU. 

Wet thy lungt with wine, for the di^-ttar ridei on high ; 
OppreaJTC ii the Kuon • — ill thingi are parched and dry ^ 
'Mid the leava the ihiill cicada ill long ao thin and quick, 
Poun out beneath in vringa, and bloom the chittie* red and thick. 
— J. M. Wauiodii. 
This song is made up of fragments quoted by various 
authors and joined by Matthiae, Hartung, Bergk, and 
others. line I, part of 2, and 3, 6, 7, and 8 are 
preserved in Proclus on Hesiod, fForks, 584 ; i and 2 
are quoted by Athenaeus, X, 430 ; part of 3, and 4-5, 
are quoted by Demetriua, de Eloc. 142. The verses 


all belong, without doubt, to one song. The metre 
is choriambic, the asfUpiadeum stcundum as used bj 
Horace, Carm. I, li, etc. 

Cf. Horace, Carm. Ill, 29, 18 : — 

Jam Procyon fiiiit 
£t itelli Tcnani Leonia 
Sole dies nfernte slccoi. 

The song is ■ close imitation of the following passage 
in Hesiod's Worts and Days, 582 seq.: — 
H/mt a atdiKviiM t ivOtJ Kal i^x^a r^rif 

HvKrir iri rrtpiyaw, Biptet taitaTiiStin upTj, 
T^fut TiiraTaf r' alyes xaJ <irot ipiaros, 
lAay\trTaTai 5t yvv^iKet, i^aup&raTot Si rt i^Spit 
Efirlr, ^fl Kt^a\i)r Kal yainTtt Silpiot djti, 
A6a\iot Sf Tt XP^^ ^'^ KodfuiTot - dXXi t6t ijflq 
Efi) vtTfKt'i) re (Tufii Kol Bl^Xtivt olrot. 

When the green artichoke ucending flower). 
When, ]d the ralDy Kuan'i ((Hlaonw boun, 
Percb'd on a bnnch, beneath liu veiling nringi 
The loud cicada ihrill and fni|uent mp x 
Then the ^ump goat a nTout; food beMowi, 
The poignant mne in melloweK RaToor flom t 
Wanton the blood then boundB in wonwn'i jtwt. 
But weak of man the heU-cnieeUed rant : 
Full on bia bnin detcenda the aolar flame, 
Unnervea the languid luieea, and all the (Tame 
Exhauidon driea awajr i oh then be chine 
To at in shade of rocka, wth Kblyan urine. 

— Sta Cbarlu AiaAHAM Eltok. 

IV (40). Let us drmi./sr the dag-star is risen. 
Quoted by Athenteus, I, 21. The metre is chori- 



V {6l). TbtJUmir of gentle autumn. 

Quoted by Cramer, An. Ox. I, 413, zj. My 
venes are a paraphrase built upon this fragment and 
tlie two immediately following. 

VI (53). For wine is a mirror ta men. 

Prom Isaac Tzetzes, ad Ljiopbranem, V, ziz. 
The metre is the third verse of an Alcaic staqza. Cf. 
Horace, Carm. Ill, 21, 14: — 

Cf. Theognis, 500 ; — 

drSpis S' drat f tnf e rior. 

VII (43). Dreps af wine fij out ef the Teian 

Quoted by Athemeos, XI, 48 1 (who says it is fivm 
the Tenth Book), to prove tlut the cups of Tcos were 
very betutiiul. 

VIII (34). Zeus indeed tends bail. And a great 
winter slarm is in the sij. The streams freexe, 
i^And now the hoary sea and the thiei forest roar with 
the Thracian north wind.) But drive away the 
winter, heaping up the jire, mixing lavishly the tawny 
wine, and Binding about thy temples sofi fleeces. 

Bouad in winter') icy ileqi. 
Ocean wBTc and fbreal hoar 
To the blut respoimTc roar. 



Dtira the tcmpot from your door, 

Blaze on blue your heanlutiiDe piUog, 

And unmeuured i^oblctB poor 

Biiznliil, high with aectar amOli^. 

Then beneath your poet'i head 

fie a downy pillow •pread. — J. H. Muttali. 

Zeiu poura the rain-Hood), o'er the ilcy. 

Lowering tempem howling Hy, 

The •tnanu with icy chaini are bguod. 

Bat back the wntcr, — heap the file, — 

Let the tweet wine mantle higher, 

Wrap mufflen uft each head around. 

— J, M. Walmooo. 

Drive out the winter, piling up plentiful 
Firewood, and mingling cupi of the honey-wine 
Freely, while opon aui fbrelieadi 
Sprayi of the winter-gteen tboi we fatten. 

— Sii Edwik Auiold. 
The rain of Zeut deicendg, and from high hcaren 

A itorm ii driven : 
And on [he running waret-brooki the cold 

Layi icy hdd ( 
Then up I beat down the winter j make the fin 

Elate high and higher ; 
Mil irine ai aweet aa honey of the bee 

Tboi drink, with comfortable wotd around 
Your ttmplta bound. 

— John Addjngtob StmoKDI^ 

Now winter nighn enlarge 

The rnunber of thdr houn ; 
And claudi th«r itonnB ditchaige 

Upon the airy towert. 
Let now the clumneya blaie 

And cupi a'aflmr with wine. 

— Tkomai Camnon. 


Ijnn 1—2 and 5— S are quoted by Achenieus, X> 
430. Lines 3 and 4 are purely conjectural restora- 
tions by G. F. Grotefend, based on Horace's Epede, 
1 3. Tliis and the tbllowing fragment have been freely 
inutatcd by Horace in Carm. I, 9, and Ep>d. 13, 
q.f. It b probable that this fragment and No. ix are 
from the same song, chough the manner in which they 
are quoted by Athenaeus would indicate otherwise, 
I have joined them in the verse translation, as did 
Mr. Symonds. In dbcussing this fragment and the 
relative merits of Alcaeus and Horace, Jani very truly 
says : " In Horatiana pictura stant et quiescunc omnia, 
ac velut in stupore jacent ; in Alcaei descripdone motus 
atque lumultus est, cE hactenus plus ea vigoris habet," 
etc. The metre is Alcaic, for scheme of which sec 
page 32, anti. 

IX (35)- ^' " nut jiUmg le jUld one's benrt It 
serrate, for nothing is gained by grief. O Bacchus I 
bring mne, and drunkenness, the best of balms. 

To be bowed by grief ii My, 
Naught i) gained by meluicholy. 
Better than tbe pain of (hinklog 
Ii (o Keep tbe kiik in drinking. 

— J. H. Meutaiz, 
We muM not yield our heun to woe, or wear 

Witli waiting can ; 
For grief will piofiE i» no whit, ny Iriend, 

Nor nothing mend ; 
Bat chii ii our best medidne, vrith vrine liaaghc, 

Tc cast out ihougbc. —J. A. Svkohim. 

(Conclu^on of Mr. Symonds' poem quoted in die 
preceding note. ) 

Quoted by Athenaeus, X, 430. See note to viii. 
The metre is Alcaic. Cf. Horace, Carm. I, 18. 


X (B. 41. H. 41). Let ui drink! Why do w 
axaait the lights f Day is but a span. Bay, bring the 
(apaciaus and many-eobured (ufs. For the son tf 
SemiU and Zeus gave l« us men care-dispelling wine. 
Pour it tut, mixing one of water with two of wine in 
fell tups, and let one cup chase the ether headlong. 

Why mit hc for the torches' ^D? 

Now let u drink while day invite). 

In mighty fl>gon> Uther biing 

The deep-red blood of many 1 vine, 

That we may br^j ^uaffi and fling 

The ptaiict of the god of wine. 

The Km of Jove and Semele 

Who gare the jocund wine to be ,'. 

FiU, lill the goblet, one and two; 
Let every brinuner, u it l!awa. 
In aponive chaae the lait punue. 


Drink I lor hmpi why are we Majing ? let the (tngei aerve for day, 
Bring me, boy, the bowl capacioua — all the variooi cupe diiplay. 
To oi monab mighty Baccbui, ion of Zau and Semele, 
Gave bright wine, the oue-diipella- ; one and two now mii fin me — 
Mingk — [o the brim, fill upwirdi — and ai cupi we diajn apace, 
Eieiy frnh one in Ibregoer't mounting Aimei away ihall chue. 
— J. M. Walhodie. 
The text is Hofiinann's, varying slightly from Bergk's 
ind Farnell's. Quoted by Athenaeus, X, 430, and XI, 
481. The metre b choriunbic ; see note on iii. Cf. 
Horace, Carm. Ill, 19, and Cara. Ill, 21. 

'XI (50). Metbinks a man is happiest when drink- 
ing. Bat if too much of mellow wine overmaster bis 
mind be is twice wretched. For he becomes heavy- 
headed 1 and then vainly searching and demanding of 
himse^ the cause of his misery, he is disgusted with 



bis levity, and at Itngtr dies it please bim tt eareuse, 
Drini, friend, drink.' 

'PrtxTveA in a fivgrnenory condidoa in Demetriui, 
wtfH wottifioTwr, f^il. Utrcul. Ox. I, 112, ind restored 
to ia present fonn hj Bof k. A conuderable portion 
of the mioracion u conjectural, and no two editori 
■grce. The interpreiuion u difficult, and I have, in- 
stead of adhering to a literal translation, endeavoured 
to express the evident meaning intended to be con- 
veyed. For the metre, see note oa/r. zix. 

XII (ss). Fiolet'emaned, pure, itotetlj-smiUng 
Sappbt, I aisb to say something, but sbame binders me. 

[Sappho (Bergk, 28) 1 But if thou hedst felt 
desire far goad tr noble tbingi, and if thy tongue bad 
net been about to utter some evil speech, shame would 
not have filled tbine eyts, but tbeu wouldst bave spoken 
fairly about iV.] 

Atcuni. In nia would pawon prompt mf tongue to bj' 
That which reapect for Saj^bo muit deU)', 
And ihimc the coun^ of demic jwij, 

SArmo. At [hi> coafoHon I am wtAy griev'd. 

Nor could dediB like thlDC faan e'er bdier'd; 
For, if Icghinule, unchaig'd with crime, 
They Bpura aUke both drcunuuace and dme : 
Nor would Chine eyei Chu downward now be bent. 
But by the conicicncc of Mme bad intent. 

— Daniu. Michail Cummihi (iSii). 

AlcaidI. I &in would ipeak, I liin would Cell, 
But (haoK and fear my utterance quell. 

Satpho. If aught of good, if augbt of &ir, 

Thy tongue were labouring to dedue. 
Nor ibame tbould daah thy glance, nor fear 
Foibid thy luiC Co reach my ear. 
— Ahomtmoui. (£iA*it. &m,, 1831, p. 190.) 


If hoDouT Id thy heart vcrc dear, 
Ami thy speech oot prone to vrrong, 
Shame would not vdl thine eyea, thy tongue 
Would utter bwlbl thingi that I might hear. 


Line I u quoted by Hcphacsdan, So ; line z by Aris- 
totle, Rheterie, I, 9, where he also quotes the lines &om 
Sippho. The two linee have been joined by Bergk 
and others. The metre is Sapphic with anacrusis : — 

Sappho's reply is in Alcaics. Stephanus of Byzan- 
tium, Anna Comnena, and some modem critica as- 
cribe this fragment to Sappho. See p. zo, ante. 

XIII (59). O miieraik me! Aksfer me, hav- 
ing a part in all the taorsl mtsfartunis ! 

Ah I me foitam I ab ) daain'd to iban 

Every mmtow, pain, and can. — F. Tinntkih. 
Quoted by Hephaestion, 66, describing the Ionic 
a minore verse frequently used by Alcaeus, of which 
this is the sole specimen in his remains : — 

\JSJ \JSJ <^<^ \J\J 

rHie ode, of which this b the first line, is imitated m 
metre end probably in sense by Horace, Carm. Ill, 12: — 
Miteraium eM neqoe amori dare loduni neque duld, etc. 

My verses are a paraphrase, built upon this and the 
two succeeding fragments and the following reference in 
Horace, Carm. II, 13: — 

Alcce, plectm dura narla, 
Dun fugae mala, dun bella. 

XIV (56). Receive me, receive the merry-maker, 
I pray ibee, I pray! 




Quoted by Hq>hic*tioii, 30, and \iy otben. It u 
■ &agmeni of a Comiu-iong, or terentde, probablj' ad- 
dresied to Sappho. (See pp. 1 9-20, enti. ) The metre 
ii trochaic tetrameter catalectic, with anacrusis : — 

XV (95). T911 mill makf meferget tbf pain. 
Quoted by Hephacstion, I j. The metre is trochaic 

dimeter catalectic, as lued by Horace, Carm. II, 1 8 : — 
_ w _ w _ W V 

XVI (58). My must is ne Ungtr etneernii viitb 

Quoted by the Scholiast on Pindar, Ol. X, 1$. 
The metre is choriamtnc : — 

Cf. Horace, Carm. I, 31: — 

Et Ljcum nigru oculii niginque 
Crioc decorum. 

Cf. Cicero, Je tut. Dear. I, 28 ; — 

Nurn m articulo pucii dclcctabit Alueum. 

My verses are a paraphrase built upon this and the 
succeeding fragment, and the references in Horace and 

XVII (63). Sing to mi of tbt vialit-girdUd one. 

Quoted by ApollonJus, de Pmn. 384 B. The metre 
b AIc^c. See notes on xii and xvi, 

XVIir (33). Tbeif eomest from the ends of earth 
bearing a steord with ivory hilt inlaid teith gold. For, 
aiding the Babylonians, you achieved a mighty deed, 
freeing them from dangers. Far you killed a mighty 
toarrior tnhe laded of five royal eubits enly a sfan. 


From the endi of the earth chou ut come 

Back CO thy borne ; 
The iTOiy hilt of thy blade 
With gold ii embagaed and inlaid ; 
Since for Babjion'i hoat a gteat deed 
Tboii dida work in their need, 
Slaying a warrior, an athlete of n^tit. 

Royal, whoie height 
Lacked of live cuUtt one ipan, 

A lerriUe man. — J. A. Sykonh. 

Holding in thy hand 

An imy-bilted brand 

Inlaid vrith gold. 

Fair to behold, 

lines 1—2 are quoted by Hephaestioo, 5S, lines 3—4 
are restored by Bergk, and lines 5—7 by O. MiiUer 
(accepted by Bei^k), out of Strabo, XIII, 617, who 
says : MiijUne produced iUmtrious men, such as Pit- 
tatus one of the Seven Sages, and Alcaeas the fuel, 
and bis irolher Antimenidas, teho, as Akaeus says, 
feent to the aid of the Babylonians and achieved a 
great deed, and rescued them from difficulties, killing 
a warrior, a rival of kings, as be says, lacking scarcely 
a span of five cubits. 

(Five royal cubits, less a span, are about eight feet 
and four inches.) 

Concerning this mendon of Antimenidas, Hartung 
says : " If Alcaeus himaeif, in hia homeless wanderings, 
reached Egypt (where he never forgot either his hatred 
or his love, and occupied every moment with poesy), 
it is quite possible that hii brother roamed as &r as 
Assyria, for the Babylonians could well employ, at that 
time, brave warriors. About Olympiad 43, Nebuchad- 



nezzir won the btttle of Karchenuah ; Ol. 45— 4.S, 
he beneged Tyre ; Ol. 44, 3, or 47, 3, he cooquered 
Judaea and burned the temple at Jenualem. OL 43, 
3, Nineveh wai conquered by Cyaiarei and the 

Thii poem doet not belong, ttrictly, amot^ the 
Straotica or sedidous pieces, but has been so placed 
by most editors. The metre is choriaminc trimeter 
■catalectic, the aticUptadeum primum of Horace, Carm. 
I, I, etc: — 

The frequently recurring rhyme u noticeable in tluj 

XIX (15). The great bmiie gleams wilb brass, 
and the whale rQof is decked in honour of Ares with 
hrilUant helmets, and the tehile harsehair crests tnave 
/ram above. Jit ornaments for manly brotes. And 
shining brazen greaves are banging 'round on bidden 
pegs, sure defence against the darts; and there are 
breastplates of new linen, and captured bellow shields. 
Near bj are Cbalebidian bread-swards ; besides many 
belts and domhlets. These things should nat be far- 
gotten, far omitting all else toe undertake this warlike 

Glitten vnth bnu oijr manuon wiile. 

The roof u decked on croj lide 
In martial pride ; 

Willi bdmcD ranged in order bright 

And ^ume* of borK-luir noddinj white 
A gilbuit Hght — 




Stout greavca of bns like bumiahcd gold. 
And condet) there in nuay a fold 

OriiiKD rolled; 
And shicMi that in [he bottle Aif 
The routed IcNen of the dqr 

Have can away. 
Euboon EUchioD) too are Ken, 
With rich embroidered belt! between 

Of daziling Bheen ; 
And gaudy lunoate |Hled around, 
And ipoila of chieA in war renowned 

Mar there be fbond. 
Tbeee, rad all dK that here you see 
Are 6uiti of gkmooi yktoty 

Achieved by me. —J. H. Meiiiali. 

From floor to roof the ipacioue palace halli 

Glitter with war'l array ; 
With bumithed metal clad, the lofty walk 

Beam like Che bright noonday. 
There white-plumed behneti han^ fixnn many a nail. 

Above, in thrtatening row ; 
Steel gamiahed tunics, and broad coat) of mail 

Spread o'er the place below. 
Chalchidian btadei enow, and belta are here, 

Greaves and emblazoned ihiclds ; 
Well died protecton from the hoedle ipeai j 

On other battle-lieldi ; 
With these good helps our work of war 'a begun, 
With these our victory muat be won. 

— WiLUAU Mmi. 
The aheen of brazen armour 
Lights ail the spacious hall. 
And warlike at 
Hang high on i 

This song, the only poem of Alcaeus preserved in 
iu entirety, is quoted by Atbenaeus, XIV, 627, who 
says : " Music w«» formerly an exhortation to courage, 
and accordingly Alcaeus the Poet, one of the greatest 



. ever lived, places valour and manliness 
before skill in music and poetry, being himself a man 
that was warlike even beyond what was necessary. 
Wherefore in such verses as these he speaks in exalted 
language, and says : ■ The great house gleams with 
brass,' and so forth ; although it would have been 
more suitable for him to have had hia house well stored 
with musical instruments." 

It is a question among the editors whether thb poem 
is to be considered as referring to internal or external 
war, though the early grammarians placed it among the 
Stasiotica, or seditious poems. The metre has been 
discussed at length by Jani, Matthiae, Farnell, and 
others. It ia Glyconic, each line being a "system" 
conaiating of three cola, of which the first and second 
are Glyconic verses and the third an iambic dipody : — 

Hartung, following this division, has printed each line 
of our text as three lines. The frequent rhyme b 
noticeable in this song. 

XX (i8). I do not anieritatid the cenditkti if the 
winds, for now from this side, now frsm ■ that, the 
waves approach, and we between tbem are hurled about 
in the black ship, and struggle bard with the storm. 
The water pours in through the stepping-hole. Already 
great rents are in the sail -~ and now it is torn ia tat- 
ters. The anchors loose their held. 

Now here, now there the wild wavea iweep, 
Whilit we, betwixt them o'er the deep 
In shaClercd, tempest-beaten bark 
With Eibouring ropes along an driven, 


Tbe billowi duhing o'er our dark 
Vfbayii deck — in aota rival 

Our aila — whoB yawning rent* between . 
The raging sea and aky are Ken. 

Looae liDin their hold our ancbon bunt, 

And tlien the tlurd, the iatal wave. 
Cornea rolling onwanl like the first. 

And doubla all our toil CD save. 

— J. H. Mhivale. 

Thi wind'i wild ittift conftnindt my brain — 
One Amona wave, lOf hither hurled. 
Another there contending whirled t 

Drive in the ship before the blast. 

While anap the ropea and cracks the maat. 

Rents long and wide througbool display : 

The anchors fuL Herce ai the fint 

Another wave hath o^er as bunt. 

And hard the Knl and SOR the pain 

To bail the water out again. — J. M. Waihouse. 

On either hand the rolling watera throng, 
We thro' the midst are darkly borne along. 


Quoted bjr Heraclides, jiiUg. Ham., c 5, who ex- 
plains that it is an allegory, wherdn the condiiiou of the 
State, under the tyrant Myrulua, is likened to a storm- 
tossed ship. This poem b closely imitated by Horace, 
Carm. I, 1+: — 

and a the foundation of the many allegories in various 
languagea wherein the State is likened to a ship. Cf. 
Theognis, 671 leg., Pindar, Pyth., i. 86, 4. 374. 



The tUegoiy is also lued in maay places by the Greek 
tngediuu, and hy Plato and Cicero. The text u 
Bergit't, with the exception that I have followed Par- 
nell and other editon in reading &yKupai iniiead of 
S.yK»vai' Uninui, Blomfield, and Gaisford join thit 
with^. zzt, (hough Heraclides, in quoting the latter, 
sajt that it i« from another poem : iripaiSt ««v kiyia. 
Vet both fr^menti refer to the State under Mynilus ; 
and in the metrical translation I have joined them, as 
have Merivale and WaUunue. The metre it Alcaic. 

XXI (i9)< </W nBtn a wave greatir than the 
farmer comes and hringi great distresi « us tehen the 
ship flanges into the sea. 

Ware ftdlowing WK, each 11^ Co each, 

Rolli OTcr ui, and mon and more 
To bul out the flood 
Will tai Di me. — F. TnnmoK. 

Quoted by Heraclidea. See note on xz. The 
metre is Alcaic. 

XXII (23). Fighting men are the eitj' t fertrest. 
(For translation of prose fingment, see page 38, 

The fiiigment is quoted by the SchoKut on Aeschy- 
lus, Pers. 347 ; (he prose in brackets occurs in Aris- 
tides, II, 273, as follows : — 

BUrai ti lut IcKtT rdrrar df^piirwc q jcoful^ ye ir iXl- 
7«i lti(cu BrfwrraiX^t IXii^ rAr Xiyor trra, St rttXai lUr 
'AXkoEm 6 t<iii7t4< (tTft, urripcr Si ol roUnt irapaXo^irm 
ipX'tiaarTo iii ipa oi \lSm K,r,\. 

(For translation of Arisddca' remark, see page 38, 



While we have not (he exact words, we have here 
the tense of what vat one of Alcaeus' greatest, and, in 
ancient times, most famous, lot^, Hartimg, treating 
the fragment, ha$ joined mth it another fragment pre- 
aerved in Heaychins (Bergk, 153). thus: — 

F»urfald tealls e/ irui are irteted, hut fighting 
mta are the dtj' s fortress. 

In the verse transUtion I have followed the excerpt 
from Aristides. This fragment was the inspiration of 
Sir William Jones' magnificent ode. The State, the 
beginning of which b quoted on page 38, ante. 

XXIII (31). Aleaeai is safe from Ares, hut mt 
bis arms; the Attics bung up bis sounding shield in 
the sacred temple at Glauiopis. 

Restored by Bergk from Strabo, XIII, 600, and 
Herodotus, V, 9;. The poem, of which this is a 
fragment, said by Herodotua to have been sent by 
Alcacus to his friend Melanippua, commemorates the 
escape of Alcacus from the battle of Sigeum, Strabo 
says that Alcaeus in this poem related not only his 
escape, but the duel between I^itacus and Phrynon. 
Cf. Horace, Carm, II, 7, on his own escape from 
Philippi, and Archilochus and Anacreon, quoted on 
page II, ante. The metre is modelled on Arclulo- 
chus, and consists of a hexameter heroic and a dactylic 
trimeter catatectic, nsed aliemaiely as in Horace, Carm. 
IV, 7. As pointed out by Bergk, the spondees in the 



fint foot of line i, and £fth of Ime z, «re pennkuble 
on accoont of the proper namei : — 

XXIV (37 A). The treads aitb acehmathns of 
fraiie tstablisbtd this letv-bom Piltaeus tyrant over 
the distracttd and unfortunate eity. 

Quoted by Aristotle, Polit. Ill, 9, 5, who mj^ 
that the Mitylcncana elcCTcd Pittacm against the eiiles, 
of whom Antimcnidas and Alcaeus were the chiefa, 
and that in this song Alcaeus reproves them. The 
metre is choriambic. See note on iii. From various 
authors we learn that Alcaeua applied many opprobii- 
ous efnthets to Httaciu, amoi^ them : tTOftixo&OL or 
vipainiv = "Drag-foot" J p^ipoiroSijv = "Split-foot"; 
)(apoirc&riv = " Hand-footed " ; yai^uca ^ " Swag- 
gerer ' ' ; ^ro(TK<ova ^ ' ' Thick-bellied ' ' ; yaarpuiva = 
"Oily-bellied"; (oifx&tpiriSav {aKOToSarvov) = 
"Corner-kisser"; iyauvprov = "Dirty Fellow"; 

XXV (25). ri/f man, raving, a great fetaer, 
mil quickly ecertbrotu the State. Already be is upon 
the brink of ruin. 

Used against Cleon by Aristophanes, Wasps, 1234, 
whose Scholiast says it is from Alcaeus. The metre 
is dactylic : — 

XXVI (B. zo, H. 36). mw it beUsvei us ta 
careuse, and t» stamp tbe eartb forcefully, for Myr- 
siltts is dead. 


The joyoui dance, — unce Mjrnlut ia dead. 


T i) dale ta hutd the cup uouod. 
To ong, ca dance, to shake che ground. 

For Mynilua ii dad ! — F. Tenntion. 

Quoted by Athenaeus, X, 430. I have followed 
Harning's tezt (see Bergk, zo ; Hortung, 36; and 
FaraeU, XIX). The metre ia Alcaic. Imitated in 
sense and metre by Horace, in his soBg on the death 
of Cleopatra, Carm. I, 37 : — 

K pede libeni 

XXVII (B. 9 and 66, H. 10-12). O Queen 

Athena, mistress ef war, O ibou who guardest the ' 
temple gender beneath steep-rocked Ceronea sn the ianis 
ef the river Coralio. O Queen, perebanee thou bov~ 
erest over the fortress of the armies of divided men. 

lines 1-4 are restored from Strabo, IX, 411, and 
lines 5-6 from Hesychius, "^varveianr, by Bergk, 
Haming, and others. Hartung joins them and argues 
that they belong to the same hymn, and the text ia 
his, differing little from Bergt's in 1—4, but condder- 
ably in 5—6. The metre is Alcaic, a reproduction of 
which I have attempted, Strabo says that Alcaeus 
incorrectly named the river EwpAiiK, the troe name 
being EotKipiof . 

XXVIII (B. 5, F. XXIII). Hail.' Ruler of 
Cyllene! Of thee will I sing, vihom Maia on the 
loftiest summits conceived of the sen sf Crones. 

Quoted by Hephaestion, 79. The text is Faniell'a, 
diffidng atightly from Bergk' s. Pausanias says that in 



this hymn Alcaeua related how Hermes stole the cattle 
of Apollo ; Menuder says that the birth of Hermet 
wu related ; and Athenaeiu says that in it Hermet 
was made cup-bearer to the gods. The metre it 
Sapphic, which I have attempted to reproduce. Cf. 
Horace, Carm. I, lo, which is doubtless a close 

XXIX (13 B.). The niat^-ibod Iru conrewid 
this powerful god ij iulerceerse with the gelden-batred 

Of all the godi ii Love moat ijrul, 
AUieil boni the child, 't ii aid, 
Of ddicate-ondilled Iiii £ur. 
And Zepbyr of the golden bail. 

—J. M. Walhodii. 

Quoted by Plutarch, Amaur., 

c. 20, and referred 

in Elym. Gud. 178, 17. It i 

3 a iragment of an 

Icaic verse. 

XXX (49). It is said tbdt once in Sparta. Jrii- 
tedemus uttered a not unwise saying: "Money makes 
the man." For the pauper it neither brave nor 

Tbii truth the Bge of Sparti told, 

Arittodemiu old — 

" Wedth mikei the man." On him dut'i poor 

Proud worth looks down, and honour ibuts the doot. 

—J. H. MiRlVAU. 

I 've heard thai one id Spaita bicd, 

So the Uoiy tan. 
The win Ariitodemui aid 

'"Tit money makei the nun." 




Quoted by the Scholiast on Kndw, Jiibm. II, 17. 
The metre U Glyconk, See note on xix. The regu- 
lar recurrence of rhymes in each line of this Segment is 
striking, A Spartan Aristodemua has been placed by 
tome writer* among the Seven Sages. 

XXXI (91). j1 grieveus affiictian is Ptvertj, in- 
luppertabU, tabo, with ber sister. Went, grtetij 
eppresses ibe people. 

The wont of lilt ind hirdcM to endure, 

Put hope, put cure, 
Ii Penury, who with her Biter-n»te 
Ditorder, looa btinp down the loftieit ttte, 
And make) ll detolate. — J. H. Miuvaii. 

From Stoboeus, XCVI, 17. The metre is dactylic 

XXXII (B. 108, H. 91). For neither man mr 

woman may Jiee /rem longing desires. 

From Plutarch, de divitiar. am. <:■$'• — 

Reconstructed by Hirtung, whose text I follow. 
The verse translation is of the whole excerpt from 

XXXIII (84)'. What manner 0/ birds are these 
from the oceans edge f fijing with widespread wings 
and brilliant -plumage d throats. 

Quoted by the Scholiast on Aristophanes, Av. 1410. 
The metre is choriambic. See note on iii. 



XXXIV (51). O ^ern af tbt rocks end the hoary 
ita ! . . . Tbtu ieligbtest the heart of the ioj, O 

The beginning and ending of r >ong, quoted by 
Athenaeos, III, 8$ F. 

XXXV (83). If jou sfeak whatever you f lease, ysu 
must yaursef hear tohat does net please you. 

From Proclus on Hetiod, Opera, 719. Metre 
choriunbic. An imitation of Heaiod, ff^, and D, 
711: — 

K It Kudv (frMi, rdxo *' <i^<tt fut^* iimiaiu*. 

XXXVI (38). Hephaesdon, 63. 

XXXVII (+2). Plutarch, 5tw/«. Ill, 13. Metre 
choriambic. Cf. Horace, Epod. 13, 8 : — 

Nunc et Achaetnenio 

PbAukU nirdo junt et fide Cyllauc 

Lcvan diiii pecton lollicinidiiiibuL 

XXXVIU (44). Athenaeuj, X, 430 C. Metre 
choriambic. Cf. Horace, Carm. I, 18: — ■ 
Nnllim, Vm, Ben rici piiiu Bboreni — 
an imitation m sense and metre. 

XXXIX (46). Hephaest. 41. Dactylic hex- 
ameter. A rhymed couplet 1 

XL (47). Aihen. II, 38 E. Dactylic. 

XLI (48 A.). Hephaeat. 61. Choriambic. 

XLII (48 B.). Eusiathius, ad Dianys. Per. 306. 

XLIII (52). Athen. XI, 460 D. 


XLIV (54 A.B.). EtymehgUam Magnum, 689, 

XLV (57). Schol. Plat. 377, who says that this 
is Che begiiining of a aong of Alcaeus and of one of 
Theocrinu. The metre u dactylic : — 

Cf. TheocritoB, XXIX, i : — 

Olrof, eg 0fX* wal, \iytTax, jkoI dXdfos * 
" fFiiu" iaryiMib, "and iruib," U lit uyifg. 

See notes of MaCthiae (zzzvii) and Hartung (86), 
who argue that this idyll is improperly ascribed to 
Theocritus. It is in Aeolie metre, Acolic fonns and 
dialect are used, and it ia clearly an imitation of Alcaeus. 

XLVI (60). Cramer, AnerJ. Oxon. I, 144, 6. 

XLVII (6z). Hephaest. 59, as an example of 
metre; — 

Cf. Theoc. XVII. 36: — 

Upm mbta fregratil hsam, ixJiiJ, tbt ledj ian^bur ef IMmu, 
nrif KCK^ti Cffmi, imfriiuJ btr tlmJtr baadi. 

XLVm(i6). Eustath. Schol. //. 8178. Metre 

XLIX (17). Apollonius, ^« ^A. in J*«. ^B. II, 
613, 36. Ionic. 

L (21). Hephaest, 79. Evidently said of Me- 
lanchnis as compared with later and more offensive 


LI (z2). Strabo, XIV, 66i, speaking of insignia of 

LII (26). IJnei 1—2, Herodianua, vyu. fiov- kt^. 
to, 2; ; line 3, El. Flor. Miller, Mist. 264. 

LIII (27). Herod, trt^i nav. Xm^. 23, 9. 

UV (28). Cram. An. Ox. Ill, 137, i. 

LV (29). ChoeroboK. Epim. I, no. 

LVI (30). lb. he. Ht. Cf. Horace. Carm. Ill, 
2, 13- 

LVn (31). U. l.c. 

LVIII (i). Quoted by HephaeBtion, as from the 
first Ode of the Fmrt Book. Himerius, Or. XIV, 
10, pves the theme of tlm Paean, as he calls it. 

UX (11). ApoUon. Dysc. de pron. 358 B. 

LX (13 A.). lb. Je prtn. i%7 ^. 

LXI (14). Ji. 395 A. Portion of a hymn to 

LXII (64). Et. Gad. 161, 31. . 

LXIII (6s)- Strabo, XIV, 606. 

LXIV (67). Cram. Jn. Paris. IV, 61. 13. 

LXV (68). Harpocration, 175, ij. 

LXVI (69). Hephaest. 43. 

LXVII(7o). Photiua, 244, 11. Cf. Theocritus. 
XV, 1 16. 

I.XVIII(7i). Cammtntar. in. Arat. up. Iriart. 
p. 239. 

LXIX (72). Apollon. de frtn. 363 A. 

I-XX (73). Ih. 388 B. 


LXXI (74). lb. 39S A. The interpretatioii b 
difficult, liie fragment was probably addressed to 
Pitiacus aiter he pardoned and released the poet. 

LXXII (7S)- £'- ^^S- 290. 47. 

LXXIII (76). lb. 639, 31. 

LXXIV (77). ApoUon. dt frm. 384 B. 

LXXV (78). U. 363 A. 

LXXVI (79). Cram. An. Ox. I, 298, 17. 

LXXVII (80). ApoUon. di prsn. 38+ B. 

LXXVm (81). Et Mag. 188, +4. 

LXXIX C8i). Eusuth. //. 633. 61. 

LXXX (8s). Hephaest. 60. 

LXXXI (86). Herod. »fpi ^. M- ^7. 7- 

LXXXII (87). ApoUon. de prau. 363 B. 

LXXXin (88). lb. 381 C. 

LXXXIV (89). Schof. Homer, Odjjj. <(, 71. 

LXXXV (B. 90, H. 90). Cram. An. Ox. III. 
121. The text Js Hofimann's. 

LXXXVI (91). Artemidorus, ovtip. 11, 25. 

LXXXVII (93). Sehol. Fmdar, 01. I, 97. 

PCXXVIII (94). Hephaest. 90. A rhymed 
couplet ? 

LXXXIX (96). Apollon. de prm. 382 B. 

XC (97). Schol. Soph. Oed. Reg. 156. 

XCI (98). Herod, irtpt /w»v. Atf. 35, 32. 

XCU (99). Paroemiogr. T. U, 76; Ed. Goth. 

XCm (100). Apollon. deprm. 383 C. 

XCIV (loi). U. 363 B. 



XCV (loi). Et Mag. 264, 17. 

XCVI (103). Hwpocrat. 168. 

XCVII (104). Herod. ^tpXfM. kii. 36, i;. 

XCVIII (10;). ApolloD. Dysc. it prm. 381 C. 

XCIX (109). Schol. Theoc. VII, ui. Cf. 
Theocritus, Le. 

C(iii). Aristides, T. II, iss. 

CI (H. 86 B.)- SchoL //. 4 319 (Scoliei Gene- 
voiiet de I'lUode, J. Nicole, Genevs, 1891, I, 203). 
Publiahed by Hofiinaiu u 86 B.; not known to 

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